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HRIS Implementation Made Easy: Best Practices for a Smooth Transition


In today’s time, a lot of businesses are starting to rely on software that is powerful enough to streamline their operations. Most of the software is first and foremost implemented in the Human Resources department, which is the core of any organization. However, the success of adopting and implementing this software lies purely in the process of execution. This becomes a vital role in the case of HRIS.

The HRIS system is the one core software that touches every individual in the company. It becomes a vital tool in allowing managers and HR professionals to make decisions that are not only data-driven but also improve employee satisfaction and promote retention. Implementing the right HRIS for one’s company becomes essential as companies can then focus on their core business objective while ensuring that their human capital is well-managed and engaged.

What Is HRIS Implementation?

HRIS implementation is a new service that helps a business transition from its manual-driven HR management system to a new AI-integrated system. In a typical manner, one’s vendor or software provider is the one who would offer the implementation. Although it is optional, implementation with assistance is generally required for business and technical reasons.

For most businesses, implementation involves two things:

  • Migrating existing employeeand company data into the new system
  • Training employees and helping them become familiar with the new system

While these two steps seem quite simple on the front, one must consider the challenges that can occur during the HRIS implementation, especially if one is not prepared for it. Implementing an HRIS system requires critical planning. Three main challenges generally occur while implementing an HRIS system– time, data, and buy-in. These elements are what can stand in the way of a smooth and effective implementation if not managed properly.

However, organizations can overcome these challenges with a well-defined strategy that would address all the business needs in specific detail. Ensuring buy-in from employees through communication, training, and change management strategies would allow the implementation of the HRIS system to be less challenging. By being proactive, companies can address the challenges head-on at an early stage, ensuring a smooth and successful implementation.

Whatever your goal, once you’ve decided to transition to a new HRIS, here are 8 steps you can take to ensure a successful implementation.

1) Identify your current HRIS needs and plans for future growth.

It is important to know with a clear goal in mind what you want your company’s HRIS software to do. This will help set the expectations for the new platform. Crucial questions like Do we need to reduce time spent on tasks that are manually processed? Do we want to eliminate paperwork? Does the new system need to work seamlessly with our existing ATS, international Payroll, or other software in our HR/IT/Finance ecosystem? What must the new system do that our current HRIS cannot manage?

Having the questions answered early on while setting the stage for implementation will help companies find it easier to develop requests for Proposals and to assess prospective vendors.

2) Establish your HRIS budget.

Budgeting becomes one of the most crucial aspects since the HRIS system can cost at a very basic range but shoot up the moment there are multiple add-on features. This is where companies must be clear on which features are the most critical for their team and the company. Would employee self-service cut down on tracking PTO requests? Does leadership need access to advanced reporting to make data-driven people decisions? Does our company want to accelerate time to productivity for our new hires with structured onboarding?

However, while one may get all the answers they need it is advisable to include an additional budget for IT, additional staff training time, and possible budget over-runs.

3) Send out a Request for Proposal (RFP), interview vendors, and then select an HRIS platform.

The next important step in ensuring a smooth transition is to conduct thorough research. Connecting with industry peers would be the best way to get to know about the HRIS systems are that being used. One can get to know the perks and drawbacks from the experiences of other users. However, if a business is just starting, there are multiple blogs out there that review these HRIS systems. It is essential to find a blog or a review that is not biased or sponsored and among those shortlist the best-in-class HRIS vendors. Have the shortlisted vendors give a presentation to the company, and through that presentation, one must ensure that the system capabilities of the vendors are in alignment with the company’s current and future plans while staying within the established budget and timeline for implementation. Also, discuss whether the system can be integrated with the tools already being used, and develop an understanding of their Professional Services Program to ensure your company is set up for success.

4) Partner with the chosen vendor to create a comprehensive implementation project plan.

One of the factors one must consider before choosing a vendor is to have a skilled in-house project manager. This way one person can be the liaison between the vendor and your internal teams. The next step would be to identify internal and external implementation project teams and garner their support. After which it would be imperative to establish dedicated resources (IT, consultants, etc.) at both the technical and the functional levels, who are available throughout each implementation phase. Vendors would require that companies approach them with a clear vision for the implementation of HRIS. Vendors would need companies to have a realistic time and create clear processes for performing them.

5) Next up, implementation kick-off.

After working with a chosen vendor alongside the internal and external stakeholders of a company, a multi-phased approach to implementation should be established. This can then ensure that sufficient time and resources are allocated and given at each phase without hampering the day-to-day operations of a company. Some of the phases that companies must go through during the implementation are IT and connectivity, security, systems integration, data migration, testing, super-user training, and usability testing. The progress of these implementations must be communicated to sponsors and stakeholders regularly.

6) Communicate the HRIS Company-wide rollout.

While the HRIS implementation is happening steadily, companies must ensure that all their employees are well informed of a rollout date. However, to make it a more organized announcement, plan a specific time, and if required draft more focused messages to super users, stakeholders, and end users. It is also important to identify and promote internal information on technical support, functional support, and end-user training. This will encourage employees to be more involved and eager to learn the new system.

7) Identify challenges and provide support.

Once the implementation is a success and the HRIS system is fully functioning, organizations must take the necessary steps to prepare for challenges that can occur. One of the challenges would be slow adopters or late adopters, the organization must ensure that they have the right resources in place to tackle it skilfully. While the organization may have done thorough research before choosing the HRIS system, it is important to be open to feedback from super-users, stakeholders, and end-users. Organizations must continue to maintain a cordial relationship with their vendors, as they will have to work with the vendor, and internal and external resources to make any necessary technical adjustments.

8) Evaluate Implementation Success

Having an HRIS system fully functional and operating is no feat. It is a huge deal. However, it is important to take a step back and spend time reviewing the process with both your internal team and your HRIS vendors’ Success Team. This process of reviewing will help identify the impact of any cost overruns, unexpected delays, and additional resources. Additionally, it is always best to ensure that any issues that may have occurred in the past have been dealt with seamlessly by the vendor. It is important to plan the implementation of the new HRIS system in such a way that it has a place for future add-ons, new technology, or upgrades to the HRIS system.

While implementing an HRIS can require effective forethought, communication, and excellent project management, the results would be incomparable. Be prepared to enjoy higher productivity and engagement from your team!

Use Resources Provided by the Vendor

Having a team that is purely dedicated to the HRIS training program is a must. This is where your vendor comes in. They will help by providing a realistic timeline and providing tactics to get all teams on board.


HRIS implementation is just the first step any organization looks into. A smooth transition to HRIS is where an organization, looking to improve its human resources operations, must have a plan.

A successful HRIS adoption can bring a wide range of benefits to a company, i.e., increased efficiency, better data management, improved compliance, and more effective decision-making. It is essential to approach the HRIS implementation steps with a clear vision to fully reap the benefits.

The impact of a successful HRIS would be the experience employees would have, which in turn would jump the success rate of your organization in the human resources department. One must understand that HR digital is the way for the future and is a one-stop solution for businesses that are in the need of the hour, those who would like to have a competitive advantage by transpiring and transforming their core.

However, at the same time, it is important to understand that such implementations are only necessary if your organization needs them. Just because it is a trend, it must not be followed, unless required. It is always better to do thorough research, understand the outcome of the HRIS implementation, and plan out a well-thought-out strategy with an execution plan in line before selecting the right technology.

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