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Purchasing HR Software? 3 Experts on the Importance of Usability

Grishma Govani
March 11, 2015

Purchasing HR Software? 3 Experts on the Importance of Usability

We recently conducted an in-depth analysis of 250+ reviews for 10 Core HR Software to understand how HR products were meeting customer expectations and what was important to buyers in the market.

In our analysis, we found that Core HR software is seeing a shift in value from features to usability. More and more users are looking for a better user experience and usability and, as a result, many Core HR Software vendors are focusing on user experience improvements. So we asked three experts about their take on usability in HR:

Tim Sackett

A 20 year HR/Recruiting Talent Pro with a Master’s in HR and SPHR certification, currently residing in Lansing, MI.  Currently the President at HRU Technical Resources – a $40M IT and Engineering contract staffing firm and RPO. He tweets at @TimSackett

I think all HR vendors face a core issue, not that there software isn’t valuable, effective, or return a great ROI, it’s how do we get people to actually use it the way it’s designed to be used. Which leads to your point of usability. If HR software isn’t user-friendly, it doesn’t get adopted and used properly, and ultimately the company doesn’t sign up to keep using it.  User adoption is the key issue all HR software companies are trying to figure out.  The key isn’t, necessarily, to make the software more ‘usable’, it’s to make software that adds such value to the end user they can’t think of not using it.

Jon Ingham 

Recognized by HR Magazine as the 7th Most Influential UK thinker and by HR Examiner as the #1 top global online influencer in talent management (2010) and a top 100 global influencer in HR. He tweets at @joningham

A lot of Advanced HR modules, which have been bought along with core HR systems, have never been used.  It’s taken a lot longer than it should have done for HR to realize that great functionality is meaningless if nobody uses it, and clunky technology, which has been rife within HR, has been a huge barrier to employees and managers adopting the self-service aspects of these systems.

The latest systems are a very different breed – smooth, intuitive and efficient.  A lot of HR people still don’t realize how far things have shifted as they’re still using legacy systems from way back in time or second-tier systems, which haven’t yet been transformed.  But this will work its way down and eventually all HR people, and business leaders, line managers and employees will be on high functionality, high usability systems, which will help to transform the fortunes and impact of HR.

Ward Christman

Ward Christman has 20+ years experience in e-recruiting technology and services with special expertise in employee referral (selection of tools and best practices). Ward is the Executive Board Member of HRIS World, Advisor to CloudHireMe and Loop Works, and Founder of HRTechAdvisor. He tweets at @HRTechAdvisor

Usability has always been a major reason why companies have replaced their existing systems with new ones. However, usability has become even more of a focus due to the consumerization impact from the likes of Facebook and Twitter which are typically used without any instructions or training. HR systems are generally a lot more complex than Twitter, but the desire for simplicity and ease of use is not waning and will continue to challenge the HR Tech vendors to step up their game.

For more on HR software usability and how to select the right HR software for your use case, take a look at the TrustRadius Buyer’s Guide to Core HR Software. We have included three key topics that are relevant to HR pros today:

  • Common product capabilities and factors to consider when purchasing Core HR software
  • Table showing each vendor and the capabilities they offer, such as workforce management, recruiting and talent management
  • A distillation of 290+ reviews and ratings from real users of 10 Core HR software products

About the Author

Grishma Govani

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