6-6-2015_blog.jpgKnow the best HR software options.

More than 40 percent of organizations are looking at developing or improving an HR systems strategy this year to better plan for and utilize new HR technology solutions, according to the latest Sierra-Cedar survey.

The tech consultant’s global survey, published since 1997, found the number of organizations planning to create or update their strategy has increased by 30 percent in the past three years.

Companies have numerous HR applications to choose from, which offer process automation, employee interaction and other capabilities — including HR tools such as:

Employee engagement software: The Society for Human Resource Management estimates 70 to 100 vendors currently offer employee engagement HR technology products, ranging from survey aids to the best HR software available to track disengaged workers.

Analytics measurement tools: Personnel-based big data is gaining ground: 39 percent of organizations are now using some sort of HR analytics, according to Sierra-Cedar.

Cloud-based document management systems: Although cloud-based payroll solutions have been adopted less frequently than other cloud-based HR applications — just 24 percent of small- to mid-sized businesses currently use cloud-based payroll HR tools, according to Software Advice, a company that compares payroll systems. Many have embraced other cloud-based types of HR technology.

4-12-16_acp.jpgIf you’re considering adding new HR technology, carefully selecting and implementing the best HR software for your intended use can be key.

A few tips on integrating new HR technology:

Do your homework: Investigate how secure, easy to use and budget-friendly available HR tools are. Most companies offer a demo so you can see first-hand how their product works.

Get a second opinion (and referral). Ask how many clients the HR technology vendor has in your industry, and if you still are having a hard time deciding between more than one option, consider asking to be put in touch with previous customers to discuss HR application’s pros and cons.

Prepare for staff resistance: Change can difficult. Employees may prefer the system they’re familiar with, instead of new HR technology that often requires additional learning time; which is why, as the Society for Human Resource Management notes, it’s important to identify and engage stakeholders within your organization so they’ll understand the catalyst for the new HR technology change — and convey that message to other employees.

Allow for a learning curve: Implementation of even the best HR software can take longer than expected — people may need extra help getting up to speed on new HR technology. Some software companies offer on-site training and 24-7 support; you may want to consider looking for those options when comparing HR tools, if you have a small or already overloaded IT department that may not be able to provide much help after installation.6-22-15_blog.jpg

If you’re not sure exactly what the best HR software for your organization might be, check out some of our recent posts on managing remote employees; the top 4 skills HR leaders will need in the next decade, including communication-based HR technology know-how — and find out how your organization can benefit from using HR tools to set up an employee alumni network for a few ideas.