Best Practices for Conducting HR Software Reference Checks

May 26, 2020

recommended Questions to Ask HR Software References


HR Software Reference CheckingPart of the due diligence process for selecting a Human Capital Management (HCM) system should involve checking vendor references. Yes, we know the HR Software vendors are only going to provide you with happy references and it seems like just a formality, but this is a real opportunity to gather and analyze these provided references for their overall satisfaction with the product and the vendor. Considering you will probably have a limited time to interact with each reference’s primary contact, having a plan will help maximize the time spent together. Taking time to establish a HR software reference check plan before you speak with the provided contacts will allow you to determine if your vendor concerns are legitimate and validated by users of the system.

To help you with developing this HR software reference check plan, here are several recommended best practices and suggested questions to employ before, during and after your reference check conversations.


Before Your HR Software Reference Checks

Be ready with your specific questions in advance in order to make the best use of your time, stay on track and to accomplish your objective of determining if your vendor concerns are legitimate and shared with users of the system.

* Expecting your HCM vendor to provide more than (3) references is unrealistic and most likely will be followed with some resistance.

** If you have not already visited independent online review sites such as TrustRadiusG2 or Raven Intel, now would be a good time to do so. These sites offer candid customer evaluations/assessments and feedback regarding vendors, their solutions, and their consulting/implementation partners.


During Your HR Software Reference Checks


After Your HR Software Reference Checks


HR Software ReferenceTo get you and the team started, here is a list of sample HR software reference check questions that you can use as a guide for building your own questions or to simply pick and choose from in order to compile your specific list of questions. The questions are focused in (5) general areas: vendor and the partnership; product and capabilities, implementation and training; customer support, and project insight and lessons learned.

Questions focused on why selecting this vendor and the partnership

Questions focused on vendor’s product capabilities 

Questions focused on vendor’s implementation and training   

Questions focused on vendor’s customer support  

Questions focused on lessons learned and project insight 

Being prepared for your HR software reference checks is important. A little time spent upfront planning on what you want to accomplish and what insight you want to garnish from these conversations will help ensure you are selecting the right vendor for your firm. Not to mention the possibility of eliminating some unexpected surprises during your deployment.

If you have not yet started reviewing product demonstrations, please take a look at our 3-part blogs series that examines the three primary stages in planning and evaluating the HCM demonstration:

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About the Author:

Mike Maiorino

Mike Maiorino is the Founder and CEO of HRMS Solutions. His 30 years of dedication to the HR/ Payroll technology profession, with a proven track record of results and recognition, has earned him a reputation for being a subject matter expert regarding HCM Solutions. Mike has served in a number of sales and managerial positions for leading providers of HR and Payroll solutions, including ADP, Sage Software, Kronos and Infor (fka SSA Global / Infinium). He is a member of the BAHRA Chapter (Boulder Area Human Resource Association) and completed his certification as a PHR (Professional in Human Resources) in December, 2002. Mike was also recognized in Biltmore Who's Who in 2007 as one of Washington, DC's most distinguished members.

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