Looking at a new HR system? Slow down, take a few deep breaths first!

Buying HR software is a huge, disruptive series of events that changes your work life and that of those around you. The cost financially is huge, the potential for blown budgets, high stress, and poor decision making infinite. The change impacts can be immense. The direction you take in buying HR Technology will have different paths – one with gentle hills, wide roads and just the odd speed bump to navigate. The other, a steep winding track up a mountain where you constantly teeter on the edge of the sheer drop below!

The impulse is to talk to vendors too early, so take a deep breath, and assess what you need first:

Know what your organisation needs

Knowing what you (or your executive team) want, and what the organisation needs, might be two different things. Talk to your employees, HR team, marketing team, IT team and finance team. Dig deep into what they need to do their jobs and make the experience better for employees.

Know where you and the project are heading

Develop your roadmap. Include the process re-alignment, service delivery model, data design, implementation and optimisation activities. All these activities are large projects in themselves.

No mention of software yet. No vendor conversations.

Get the right people on your team

It’s not rocket science, but make sure you have experienced and smart people on your team. At the risk of sounding like an HR nerd, you want a mix of capability, competence and capacity with people who have been there and done that, and those that want to learn. Have the guts to hire consultants to get it right the first time and guide you in your thinking. It is a false economy to scrimp and save on good resources.

Work out how much it will cost

Do your business case for the overall project which includes your internal costs, not just the software or subscription purchase. I know it sounds crazy saying ‘Don’t talk to vendors yet’, but there are other ways you can go about obtaining estimated costs without fully engaging with vendors at this stage. Remember, all that glitters is not gold.

Talk to vendors LAST (still no mention of the actual software)

Yes, that’s right. Do your demonstrations last. Once you know what you need, what the project looks like, who you need to help you and how much it will cost – THEN, do a scan of the market to see what products might work for your organisation. Have conversations with the sales people, customers and look at online reviews. Vendors will actually appreciate that you’ve done your research and know what you want as it helps them to better understand your needs and find a suitable solution.

This all sounds scary, and it can be, but with good planning and by involving people that can help you along the way, you can achieve a great outcome for the business and for you personally.


If this article resonates with you, and you need some help and guidance, feel free to contact me.

Thank you for reading. I write about HR, Employee Experience and the digital workplace. Connect with me to talk about what you need to know as a HR professional in the digital world, HR technology, my year in New York or dogs. Find me on email sarah@mooreatwork.com and on twitter @SaraMooreatWork.

How to foolproof 2019

I read. A lot. Pretty much anything. And pretty much anywhere. I have my favourite authors, but I will also try new ones. I have my favourite genres, but I will also try new ones. It was in trying a new author (or so I thought) that my Foolproofing 2019 ideas took hold.

Let’s step back a few months. 2018 was a hard one. For me. Not hard by some standards, but there was a lot of disappointment and heartbreak for both my husband and I. A lot of 2018 was spent mourning a life I thought I was going to have but it was unceremoniously ripped out from under me, with no warning. That’s life. When you get lemons, you need to make lemonade (I don’t like homemade lemonade….but….). Coupled with giving up for adoption our two beautiful dogs, the year pretty awful.

So we moved to the beach. Started our own business and moved on! My spark moved on as well. I wanted my spark back!

Through a serendipitious series of encounters, I believe my Spark has come back home! Welcome back gorgeous!

When I lost her last time, I swore I was going to make the nicest, most comfortable, Cape Cod inspired home for my Spark that there ever was. As Spark sat in the pale blue wing chair, sipping on an organic flat white, I was busily setting up the rest of the house for her to live in joy and comfort. I don’t want her to leave again!

When looking through some book recommendations, I saw one for ‘The Pearl Thief’. The story sounded interesting, so I googled the author (of course….) and I went down the rabbit hole of discovery! Not the least of which I realised I had read one of her books previously and thoroughly enjoyed it. So I reserved ‘The Pearl Thief’ at my local library. I also discovered that Fiona has written a non-fiction ‘How to Write Your Blockbuster Novel’ – I love a good ‘how to’ book (I am looking at you Deepak, Louise and Wayne!). I got the book and started reading.

Two other things have been going on at this time as well. 2 bloggers that I follow, Darren Rowse and Kelly Exeter are exploring ‘Finding Your Spark’. I am involved in a Facebook group where we talk about that and they are writing a book. I love being involved in their process, so inspiring!

And, a friend of mine, Keith Abraham, an internationally recognised speaker on goal-setting, held a webinar late in 2018, which I attended. The final piece of the puzzle fell into place to Foolproof 2019.

Here you go campers!  My tips to Foolproof 2019.

  1.   Open your mind to new ideas and ways of thinking about you and how you work

The options here are endless. I read and listen to these people daily and I am a better person for it.

Seth Godin – Especially Linchpin. Seriously, this concept is gold!

Laurie Ruettimann – Her Let’s Fix Work podcast is brilliant.

2. Challenge yourself

You know the definition of insanity right? Well, do something different!

Keith Abraham – Goal Setting mostly. But there is so much more to Keith’s message. Try writing a list of 100 goals.

Fiona McIntosh – How to Write a Blockbuster. The system for writing in this book applies to almost anything. And it’s funny.

3. Be informed about the world around you, get different points of view

Nextdraft – If you don’t have time to trawl the internet looking for news and interesting stuff to read, Dave Pell will help you out.

Waitbutwhy – If you want to really blow your mind? Start here.

Online subscriptions – are mostly free. BUT, pay for one subscription that you know you will read all the time. It helps out artists and keeps original content alive.

How is your 2019 shaping up so far?

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Thank you for reading. Here at LinkedIn I write about HR and the digital workplace. Connect with me to talk  about what you need to know as a HR professional in the digital world, HR technology, my year in New York or dogs. Connect with me on InMail, sarah@mooreatwork.com and on twitter @SaraMooreatWork