Are you looking for the best HR software for your business?
When considering whether to ditch the disconnected spreadsheets in favour of a joined up HR software system, or even switch from one vendor to another, the CIPD HR Software Show is a great place to start. The event is taking place this Wednesday and Thursday, and it’s free to attend!
But, even niche expos like the HR Software Show, can be bit overwhelming, especially if you plan to take advantage of the learning sessions, and visit the vendor stands.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most from your time out of the office:
Know what you’re looking for
The HR software industry is going through a massive change at the moment thanks to the rise of cost-effective, connected Cloud and mobile technologies. Some HR software suppliers have already seized the opportunity to invest in redeveloping their solutions for the new digital world – others have preferred to stick with their older platforms, but added a web front end.
Older systems usually have more features, while newer systems are often cheaper to run and offer more potential for future growth. That means you not only need to consider the HR features you are looking for, but how secure you feel about your choice of technology platform and supplier.
Have a check list
Naturally, it’s important that the system has the features you are looking for, and is appropriate to your size of company and the budget you have available.
Taking a few minutes before the event to equip yourself with a list of your key requirements, so you can check them off as you talk to the different suppliers make it much simpler for you to make comparisons after the event, so you know who you want to talk to again.
The show is the perfect opportunity to quiz vendors about key aspects of their solution and service that you won’t always find on their websites. Good questions to ask include:
You may also want to cover questions around device compatibility (is it designed for PCs, Macs, tablets and smart phones), and security, such as where your HR data is hosted, how access to data is controlled, whether you can make use of single sign on, dual authentication or other approaches your IT team may insist on.
Avoid the Crowds
By the way… have you registered for the event yet? It’s easy to do, and it will guarantee your place at the show.
In our experience, the show can get busy very quickly. Getting there when the doors open (9:30am, both days) is a great way to get some alone time with the vendors—rather than going from crowded stand to crowded stand and not reaping the full benefit of the day.
Plan your time
Navigating your way through London Olympia can be pretty exhausting at times—especially when you have the Recruitment Exhibition happening side-by-side with the HR Software Show, and showcase presentation areas on opposite sides.
Prepare your day in advance by deciding which vendors you plan to visit, and which free learning sessions you’d like to attend. There are plenty of sessions to choose from over the two days—ranging in topic from technology platforms and the benefits of the Cloud, to performance management and recruitment. At 3:30pm on the Thursday, HR consultant Mike Kealey will be sharing his wisdom on how to get the most out of your HR technology – a session that will be relevant to anyone looking to take advantage of the Cloud. It’s certainly not one to miss!
If you are looking for a quick demo at the show, some of the exhibitors let you reserve slots in advance, either through the CIPD website, or direct.
As conversations with different suppliers can quickly merge into one, it makes sense to have pen, notebook, and somewhere to keep all your newly collected product brochures, so you can keep track of first impressions and the information you gathered. Also, seating areas are in short supply, so shoes that you can walk in all day are key—and don’t forget your fitbit! There always seems to be more walking and standing involved than one would think.
The coffee and lunch options within the building can often become over-crowded in the middle of the day. If it becomes too much, why not pop across the road to one of the local coffee shops and cafes in the area.
Can’t spend the day out of the office? If you aren’t able to make it to the HR Software Show, then an online demo is always a good alternative. Most vendors are happy to take you through a personalised tour of their system over the internet, so you don’t even have to leave your office.