5 HCM Vendor Selection Red Flags to Look For

5 Red flags to look for when choosing a new HCM provider 

No one tells you that working through the HCM vendor selection process gives you a magical sixth sense for identifying vendors that will be a good fit for your organization. But it does!

Over the course of a few weeks, you're clicking and reading through dozens of websites, quickly and easily identifying the vendors that stand out. You end up with an excellent list of potential partners… but that will only get you so far. 

At a certain point –  sooner rather than later – you need to narrow your list down to the two or three vendors best positioned to deliver the features, support, and results you need. 

If you’re feeling stuck in the HCM vendor evaluation process, here are five red flags you can use to screen out a few more potential partners on your list: 


Red Flag #1: Their website is eerily quiet

When you’re considering investing in a potential HCM partner, you need to know as many details as possible about the product and the team behind it. In today’s digital environment, the most engaged and customer-first HCM partners put that information on their websites in the form of blog posts, webinars, white papers, and other resources that you can access 24/7. 


If you don’t see the information you’re looking for on a potential vendor’s website, cross them off your list. At the very least, it means they aren’t actively talking about new ideas and best practices within the human resources industry. At the very worst, it means they don’t know about them! 


Red Flag #2: You can’t confirm a clear implementation process

Choosing new HCM software for your organization is just the first step in a complicated but highly rewarding process. The second step is planning and implementing that HCM, and that’s where real vendor partners distinguish themselves from simple software providers. 


Do all of the HCM vendors on your list have an established implementation process that includes the option of onsite change management consulting? If not, that’s a red flag that you’re buying a piece of software, not a solution. The ideal partner for you will have a proven process they can walk you through in detail.


Red Flag #3: They help everyone do everything

“One size fits all” vendors can be appealing because they typically show evidence of helping a lot of companies solve a lot of different kinds of problems. But it can often just cover up the fact that a vendor does not have deep expertise in any one field. Instead of focusing, they’ve stretched their abilities across verticals and industries, leaving their clients underwhelmed with the end result. 


The ideal HCM vendor will highlight client examples in your industry and for your business size. You should be able to see your organization fitting in with the vendor’s established case studies. If not, you may find yourself under-served or over-matched by a vendor better suited to a company much smaller or much larger than yours. 


Red Flag #4: It organizes by people, not position

Traditional HCM platforms create an HRIS entry for an employee and collect and monitor data tied to that employee data point. But this leaves your organization vulnerable to data loss when an employee leaves or receives a promotion. It also limits your ability to see how your organization is structured and anticipate your future workforce needs. 


The most advanced HCM vendors use position-based data to bring greater visibility and historical context into your organization, enabling your teams to uncover and capitalize on new business opportunities. 


Red Flag #5: Their RFP is full of general information

As you put together your request for proposals (RFP), keep in mind that long RFPs with fifty or a hundred questions aren’t particularly helpful in identifying the main differences between vendors. You’ll likely get back twenty page reports with generic details about their mission and the work they’ve done for other companies. 


Instead, ask vendors to deliver an RFP that focuses on your main priorities and specific business use cases. Treat it like a discovery document that allows the potential HCM vendor to explain its unique ability to help you achieve your goals. 


Working through the HCM vendor selection process

If we have one piece of advice for you as you work through the HCM vendor selection process, it’s that you shouldn’t settle. You’re intimately familiar with what your organization has done, what it’s doing today, and what it could do in the future. If you listen to your instincts and evaluate your shortlist of potential HCM vendors with this list of red flags, you’re just a few steps away from identifying and moving forward with a partner that allows your organization to achieve its full potential.


You shouldn't settle for just any HCM that doesn't check the box in critical areas. Contact us today or schedule a demo to learn to learn more about how SyncHR solutions can help you achive your unique business goals.

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Sarah Greesonbach

Sarah Greesonbach

Sarah Greesonbach turns cutting-edge research and data into captivating HR technology marketing content. She loves to consider the possibilities of humanizing, organizing, and minimalizing all things HR, and her writing helps HR executives and professionals develop their instincts and arrive at actionable insights for employee engagement and business performance.

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