Choosing the Right HR System: A Step-by-Step Guide (Part 5)


In this blog post, we’ll explore step 6 of the HR System Selection Process – Building Requirements. Learn how to name, prioritize, and document the essential features and functionalities that your new HR system should have to address your organization’s needs effectively. This step is critical for ensuring that the system you choose will effectively address your organization’s needs, streamline processes, improve efficiency, and support your overall goals.

Building Requirements

With a comprehensive process map in place from the earlier step, your team now has a clear understanding of the current state of your chosen area of focus, including any inefficiencies, redundancies, and pain points. The next step is to translate these insights into actionable requirements that will guide your choice of an HR system. To build requirements for your new HR system, follow these steps:

  1. Identify Essential Features and Functionalities: Based on your process map and the pain points you have identified, make a list of the features and functionalities that your new HR system must have to effectively address your organization’s needs. Be specific and detailed in your descriptions and consider how each feature will improve your current processes.
  2. Prioritize Requirements: Not all requirements are created equal. Some features may be essential for your organization, while others may be nice-to-have but not critical. To prioritize your list of requirements, use a simple ranking system, such as “Must-Have,” “Important,” and “Nice-to-Have.” This will help you focus on the most important aspects of your new HR system and make it easier to compare different options.
  3. Document Requirements: Create a comprehensive and organized document that outlines your prioritized list of requirements. This will serve as a reference point for your team and help you communicate your needs to potential vendors. Be sure to include any relevant details, such as integration requirements, data migration needs, and compliance considerations.

Case Study: Wizard Technologies

Let’s revisit our fictitious company, Wizard Technologies, Inc., as they walk through this process:

  • The team identifies essential features and functionalities for their new onboarding system, such as:
    • A user-friendly, intuitive interface for both HR staff and new employees. They list several specific features that they will be looking for like mobile responsiveness, ease of setting up accounts and logging in, and the look and feel of the user interface.
    • Automated workflows that streamline the onboarding process and reduce manual tasks. This also includes dashboards and reports so HR and departments can track the progress of their new hires as they move through the system.
    • Electronic forms and digital signatures to replace paper-based processes. This includes things like I-9, Direct Deposit, and tax withholding forms.
    • Integration with their existing HRIS system and their ATS.
    • Legal requirements around data privacy and security, ADA compliance, and global
  • They prioritize their requirements, labeling each feature as “Must-Have,” “Important,” or “Nice-to-Have.”
  • They create a detailed document that outlines their prioritized list of requirements.

Here is a sample of their requirements matrix:

Req IDRequirement DescriptionAssumptions/Business GoalsImportance (1=Must Have, 2=Important, 3=Nice-to-Have)
2Candidate can complete I9 page one in the system1
5Reporting is available to see candidate statusShould have all data fields available1
10Easily accessible dashboard for administrators to see Candidate statusCustomizable filters and columns1
13ADA compliant1
15Login is simple1
24Compliant with IT requirements for data storage, access, etc.1
36Allow for electronic signatures of certain formsMust meet organization/government requirements1
17Stored documents could be transferred to another system2
25Addresses are validated and put into correct format2
26Translation/localization options2
27Can supply orientation info such as new hire videos, safety information, parking, etc.2
28Candidates could complete required training3
31Social security validation3

Tips for Building Effective Requirements

As you work through the process of building requirements for your new HR system, keep these tips in mind to ensure that your list is comprehensive, organized, and focused on the most important aspects of your organization’s needs:

  • Be realistic about your organization’s budget and resources. It’s essential to balance your ideal system with the financial and operational constraints of your organization.
  • Consider the long-term needs of your organization. While it’s essential to address immediate pain points, also think about how your new HR system will support future growth and changing requirements.
  • Involve key stakeholders in the process. This includes not only your HR team but also representatives from other departments that will be affected by the new system, such as IT, finance, and legal.
  • Keep the customer in mind. It’s tempting to prioritize the pain points that affect us the most. However, we need to ensure our solution increases value for the whole organization, not just HR.
  • Stay focused on your organization’s goals. Keep your overall goals in mind as you build your list of requirements, ensuring that the features and functionalities you prioritize will support these goals.

Vendor Considerations

While we are not yet at the stage of selecting a vendor (or staying with your current vendor), it’s crucial to assess potential vendors’ ability to meet those requirements and support your organization’s objectives. To help you evaluate vendors effectively, consider the following criteria:

  • Vendor Reputation – How is the vendor viewed by industry experts and other customers?
  • Customer Support – What is their support model and how well does it work?
  • Pricing and Contract Terms – Evaluate the vendor’s pricing structure and contract terms, ensuring they align with your organization’s budget and requirements.
  • Implementation Timeline and Process – What is their typical timeline? What support do they provide during implementation?
  • Customization and Integration Capabilities – How well will the system be able to adapt to your unique needs?
  • Scalability and Futureproofing – Are there opportunities to use other features of the vendor in the future?


Throughout this blog series, we have guided you through the essential steps of the HR system selection process. In Part 5, we focused on building requirements for your new HR system and highlighted the importance of evaluating potential vendors based on key criteria. By following these guidelines, you will be well-equipped to make an informed decision that supports your organization’s goals, streamlines processes, and improves overall efficiency. In the next post, we will look at using these requirements to evaluate your current vendor or process to decide if a new system is even needed.

As you continue this journey, we encourage you to engage with your team, key stakeholders, and potential vendors. Open communication and collaboration are critical for a successful HR system selection and implementation.

Remember that this process is not just about finding a new HR system; it’s about finding the right solution that aligns with your organization’s unique needs and objectives. By taking a thoughtful and thorough approach to each step, you’ll be better positioned to select and implement an HR system that delivers tangible benefits to your organization.

We hope you’ve found this blog series helpful and that it provides a valuable roadmap for your HR system selection journey. If you have any questions or would like to share your experiences, we invite you to leave a comment below or reach out to us on social media. Good luck, and happy requirements building!


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