We are about to embark on a project to source a new HRIS. I wondered if anyone would care to share their good, bad or ugly experiences with past or current systems.  

Thanks, Sarah

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Hi Sarah

I have just joined ConnectingHR and have seen your post fom last month.  Things might have moved on in the meantime, but my overall advice would be that, whilst you should of course choose carefullly, it is more important to focus on the "how" of sourcing and implementation rather than just "what" you select.   In my experience the good and the bad and ugly you refer to are less about what system and supplier you choose (there are plenty of good solutions out there), but more about how you go about selecting, how you build and establish a sustainable relationship with the supplier and then how you got about implementing in your organisation.

Some other pointers:

  1. Be clear on why you are doing the project; understand the HR/People imperatives behind the decision to look for and implement a new system and ensure their is a "line-of-sight" back to the wider business context and drivers.  Keep these in mind when making sourcing and implementation project decisions.
  2. Get your scope clear, both for what you need now and the direction of travel for the future.  Consider functional scope (core-HR data, absence management, self-service, scheduling, payroll, talent management ...), number of employees to be suported, geography (domestic, international) etc.

  3. Rather than documenting your requirements purely from the internal point-of-view, take notice of the art-of-the-possible from the market (what the latest solutions can offer), there may be some new ideas that your organsiation can use and benefit from, but that you might just not be aware of (eg goal alignment, sucession planning, talent pool management ...)

  4. Match your scope to the market positioning of the somewhat massive range of credible suppliers out there, this will then point you to a sensible short-list of the right type of suppliers and save you the trouble of investigating too many suppliers in too little detail.  You can then do more in-depth and quality analysis, comparison, due dilgence etc on just a very few hot-prospects - or even narrow right down to a sole-sourcing approach.

  5. Have some clear criteria to help you evaluate the options. These will almost certainly include functionality, usablility, techniacl considerations, whole-life costs, service etc, but also consider how the two organisations would work together - the cultural fit and alignment around objecives etc.

  6. Use the sourcing exercise to provide the platform for a rapid start to the implementation, ie implementation plans, roles and responsibilities etc should all fall out of the sourcing phase.


For my work, I have recently completed a "market scan" of a wide range of HR, Payroll and Talent Management supliers, so please do feel free to contact me if you want a view on a particular supplier that you have in mind.


(Amongst other things I do systems sourcing advice for a living - I am not trying to breach the group's principles by "selling", but just wanted to make it clear that the advice is founded upon real experience).


All the best,


Colin W

Hello Colin - just a quick note to say thank you ever so much for your response. I have passed your feedback on to our HR Ops Head who is looking at the project scope/plan over the next week or so - your info will be useful in this regard.


We may well be back in touch when the project team get underway and have a short-list of vendors/solutions.


Thanks again, and welcome to ConnectingHR! :-)


Regards, Sarah


Thanks Sarah - I would be happy to answer specificquestions or to share further general systems sourcing thoughts with your colleague if that will help.


Best regards,


Hi Sarah

We use Simply Personnel- it's ok for SMEs I guess but not completely happy with the stability of the software and loading in data is a chore (often you have to input it three times for the relevant areas to update so you get accurate reports.) It's good enough for recording employee details and training, but I'd avoid it for more complex requests.

I met a comany called Cirrus at the HR Performance event last year and their systems looked fantastic- and integrate with payroll too.

Thanks so much for your feedback. I will pass this to our HR Ops Lead who is heading up the project. We have seen a number of potentials and I think we are quite close to a decision but this is still useful... especially if the system you currently have is on our list!

Thanks again, Sarah

Hi Sarah! Bit late to this but you should include Octopus HR in your list.  We used it at stopgap and it did the job nicely and was charged monthly - around £300 per month if i remember.  Good luck!

Hi Sarah


I have been in the HR Software business for 25 years (I used to own Select Software now part of Access Group) and your choice depends hugely upon your circumstances.


For example, I have recently created a PODIO app for HR - http://bit.ly/z3KKHH - which covers the basics and is free to use. PODIO is a cloud based business collaboration / social tool which also provides app building tools - it's useful for a whole range of things and really encourages a new way of working. This approach is very much in tune with the subject of this years Connecting HR Unconference "The Power of a Socially Engaged Organisation".


If you need a more comprehensive solution, may I suggest Cezanne On Demand - http://bit.ly/xMuSIV . This is another cloud based application which covers all the bases and is really easy to use. This solution costs just £2 per employee per month (or £3 including a comprehensive Performance Management module.

Please let me know how you get on (if you are still looking) and if I can be of any help please let me know!

Kind regards,



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