HR Ready To Go Tech? Here’s a Place to Start Your Homework

Jun 4, 2009

Experienced companies with HR and IT professionals who have been through a system acquisition process before probably won’t find much help at CompareHRIS. But for the thousands of companies whose employee management system consists of file folders and outsourced payroll, the site is as good a place as any to start when the time comes to upgrade.

Industry consultants may beat up on us for saying that, since the process of identifying company needs and finding and evaluating vendors is, or should be, far more complicated than checking off a couple dozen boxes. But, as the saying goes, when you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.

That’s what we like about CompareHRIS; it’s a starting place for those who don’t know where the trailhead is.

Clay Scroggin launched CompareHRIS in February 2008. At the time he owned HR Pay ‘n’ Time, Inc., an HR tech reseller, selling, supporting, and implementing software systems for a number of vendors including Sage Abra, for whom he had worked in sales. Scroggin sold off his HR Pay ‘n’ Time clients last fall to concentrate on CompareHRIS.

To be clear, it’s a lead generation service that makes its money selling leads and listing vendors. Consequently, not every system vendor is listed. Scroggin makes the point on the site that he’s tried to get them, but not all vendors participate. He also emphasizes that the system recommendations are based entirely on the choices buyers make when they use the site’s selector survey tool.

What’s especially useful about CompareHRIS is that it will get you thinking about features to address HR functions that may not be top of mind. The swarm of resumes now coming in by email, fax, by hand, and your local post office may be the impetus for going tech. Or it may be the flood of inquiries you’re getting about benefits, accrued vacation, certification upgrades, and what not.

Whatever the reason, CompareHRIS is going to ask you about a range of HR functions. Your company may not be ready to invest in a workforce management component or succession planning module, but the site will get you to make a conscious decision. And if you aren’t sure just why you might want these features, the site has a deep — and we mean deep — library of articles covering nearly aspect of system buying, including vendor directories and listings. There are even articles on how make a business case for a new system.

One more thing not to miss: The RFP template. For systems novices, the 68-page(!) document can be intimidating. Unless you are half Geek, you’ll need to get IT involved to explain if you should even care about a vendor’s answer to questions like: “Describe your multi-layered architecture for scalability and extensibility.” It’s thin in some areas, especially in the post-sale support assessment, which is an area that will be covered in a future issue of the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership. Still, you should make the template part of your homework.

SInce launching, CompareHRIS has had 50,000 visitors. The company crowed about that achievement in a press release today that also says the company will soon be offering a European version of the site.

To be fair, there are other software comparison sites and buying guides online, all of them making money by selling leads. Many, like Capterra or Technology Evaluation Centers are not exclusively HR focused, but provide good information.

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