Choosing the Right HR System: A Step-by-Step Guide (Part 2)

Now that you have a clear understanding of your organization’s goals and have conducted a thorough inventory of your existing HR systems, the next step is to find gaps and redundancies. We will look at this using the Gap Analysis methodology. In this blog, we’ll discuss the concept of gap analysis, walk you through the steps of conducting a gap analysis in the context of HR systems, and provide a template for documenting your findings.

What is Gap Analysis?

A gap analysis is a method used to assess the performance of a business unit and decide whether business requirements or goals are being met. If they are not met, the analysis outlines the steps needed to bridge the gap between the current state and the desired future state.

Gap analysis can be applied to various areas, including information technology, compliance, and human resources (HR). It helps in benchmarking actual business performance against optimal performance levels, finding performance gaps across the organization. In this process, we will use gap analysis tools to specifically look at the HR systems in your organization, their potential performance versus their current performance.

Step 3.1: Company Requirements Overlay

To get started, overlay your goals and unique requirements, as defined in Step 1, with the inventory of systems you have documented in Step 2. This will give you a visual representation of where your current systems and processes may be misaligned with your organization’s goals and needs.

  • Digitalization is a major initiative for the company over the next five years. From looking at our process map, we can see three key processes that are still paper based including:
    • New Hire Paperwork
    • Employee Files
    • Employee Surveys
  • Hiring is going to be a big focus so we know that the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will have to serve us well and we will require efficient processes to support it.

At this stage, you don’t need to delve into a comprehensive examination of the systems, but rather, obtain a high-level overview, documenting those concerns as a possible focal point.

We also noted two compliance-related concerns that need to be evaluated in our systems. Again, note these things for now and we will dive deeper into evaluation in step 4:

  • GDPR compliance is essential in all our systems as they are all accessed and hold information about European employees.
  • Need to look at our hiring process and systems regarding OFCCP compliance so we can maintain our federal contracts.

Step 3.2: Customer Satisfaction Overlay

The step above gives a high-level overview of shortcomings but this data needs to be supplemented with “boots on the ground” observations. You need to take some time to talk to the people who use and are affected by your systems. This includes system administrators within HR, system users and subject matter experts (SMEs) such as your HR Business Partners/Managers/Consultants, and your customers such as business leaders and power users within the organization. I would recommend sending out a brief survey to a selected group of users and following that up with individual interviews or focus groups. Below is an example of a survey you could send out:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with the overall efficiency of the HR systems and processes at our company? (1 = Very Dissatisfied, 5 = Very Satisfied)
  2. How user-friendly do you find the HR software/tools provided by the company? (1 = Not user-friendly at all, 5 = Extremely user-friendly)
  3. How well do you feel the HR department communicates with employees about company policies, benefits, and other valuable information? (1 = Poorly, 5 = Excellent)
  4. How responsive is the HR department when you have questions or need help? (1 = Not responsive at all, 5 = Extremely responsive)
  5. How well do you feel the HR department supports employees in their professional development and career growth? (1 = Not supportive at all, 5 = Extremely supportive)
  6. On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with the company’s approach to employee recognition and rewards? (1 = Very Dissatisfied, 5 = Very Satisfied)
  7. How fair and transparent do you believe the company’s hiring and promotion processes are? (1 = Not fair/transparent at all, 5 = Extremely fair/transparent)
  8. Overall, how confident are you in the HR department’s ability to effectively support employees and contribute to a positive work environment? (1 = Not confident at all, 5 = Extremely confident)
  9. Rate your satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 with each of the HR systems below:
    • Human Resource Information System – System D
    • Position Description System – System A
    • Recruiting System – System B
    • Learning Management System – System B
    • Performance Management System – System B

For more HR related questions, SHRM has examples here: (

The advantage of a survey is that it will give you some quantitative data and, more importantly, as you implement changes in the future, you can repeat surveys to see if satisfaction is increasing. Let’s say that, in the survey and focus groups you conducted, Performance and Learning ranked high but the ATS and HR communication overall ranked low. These would be two things that you would need to note in your list of gaps.

Step 3.3: Gap Analysis Template

At this point, we can put together a gap analysis document to see in one place where we stand. Again, this is still an overview we will get more detailed when we pick a focus. A gap analysis template typically includes the following components:

  • Current State: List processes, workflows, and characteristics an organization looks to improve, using factual and specific terms.
  • Future State: Outline the target condition the company wants to achieve.
  • Gap Description: Identify whether a gap exists between the current and future states. If so, outline what constitutes the gap and the root causes that contribute to it.
  • Next Steps and Proposals: List viable solutions that can be implemented to fill the gap between the current and future states. Include clear goals and a time for achieving them.

The Gap Analysis document for Wizard Technologies could look something like this:

Current StateFuture StateGap DescriptionNext Steps and Proposals
Cut paper processesAll major processes are digitalNew Hire Onboarding is still paper basedImplement a new hire onboarding technology system
IT HiringSkilled IT professionals hired quicklyComplaints about the slowness of our hiring processIs it due to issues with the ATS or internal business processes?
HR CommunicationsInformation is shared with the people needed when it is neededComplaints about lack of information sharing. It seems like some initiatives are shared with leadership but not issued to front-lines staffAre there systems that could help with this? Do we need someone dedicated to communications?
ComplianceAll HR systems fully compliant with both US and international regulationsGDPR
We are unsure if we are fully compliant with GDPR for our European employees. Also, unsure if we are following OFCCP guidelines in hiring.

In addition, include results from our satisfaction survey and notes from interviews and focus groups in this document. We now have a list of potential gaps and areas of focus.


In the next part of this series, we will dive into Step 4: Determine an Area of Focus. With a prioritized list of gaps and redundancies, you will be better equipped to select the most critical areas to focus on as you continue the HR system selection process. By narrowing your focus, you can ensure that you are making informed decisions that align with your organization’s goals and unique needs.

Additional Resources

Guide to Gap Analysis with Examples | Smartsheet

What is gap analysis and how does it work? (

How to Perform an IT Gap Analysis (

Conducting A Gap Analysis: A Four-Step Template | ClearPoint Strategy


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