Five Questions to Ask When Looking to Purchase HR Software

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When you are looking to purchase some practical HR software for your business, it can seem as if there are hundreds of options to choose from, and this can make it difficult to know where to start. In order to help you narrow your search down, there are certain questions that you should ask of the provider of the software. Let’s take a look:

  • Will the software grow with the company?

If you have plans to expand your business in the near future, then you will want to know that you will still be able to use the software as your business grows. You should check that the software will be able to work to the extra capacity when needed, and that you won’t incur any extra expense if you need to upgrade your system. Also, if any customisation will be needed, ensure that this won’t cause any extra disruption to your business if the systems need to go down for a period.

  • Is it compatible with existing systems?

If you are going to be running the HR software alongside your existing systems, then you need to make sure that the software is compatible with these systems. This means that you will not experience too much disruption once your HR software is installed and that you should be able to use it immediately alongside your existing systems.

  • Are there any additional costs?

It is always worth finding out what things are included in the price of the software and what you will be charged extra for. It is unusual for suppliers to charge for software updates, but you don’t want to be caught out if this is the case. If the supplier offers regular maintenance, check that this is included in the price and that you be charged extra for it. There may be some services that you are happy to pay extra for, but it never hurts to find out exactly what it is you are paying for.

  • Are updates provided as they become available?

Ideally you will want to receive any updates to the software as soon as they become available. This is standard practice for most suppliers, but some will only release updates when a problem has been reported. This is something that is always worth finding out because you don’t want to be waiting around for updates that could make the running of your business easier, especially if another supplier would provide updates immediately.

  • Can the supplier provide references?

You should always look for references from businesses that are in the same industry as you, and those that are a similar size. This will give you an accurate idea of how well the software will work for you. These references may also provide information not just on how well the software works, but also how well the supplier deals with their customers. Choosing a supplier based solely on what they say they can deliver may lead to difficulties if they do not do as they promised, and getting references can help you to avoid this happening.

Even if you have a particular provider in mind, then asking these questions can help ensure that you make the right choice. It may even lead you to find software that you had not previously considered, but that is actually the perfect fit for your business.

What To Do About A Possible Negative Job Reference

What To Do About A Possible Negative Job ReferenceThe other day I received an interesting email from a reader.

They are attempting to increase their income by seeking out a better position, but they are afraid of what their current employer will do. This reader knows that their current boss won’t let them go easily, and the reader is afraid of what their employer will say to potential new companies when they call for reference checks.

This is a sticky situation.

If you haven’t done anything wrong and you are just dealing with a spiteful employer, then you might feel helpless and stuck.

Many are usually very confused when it comes to bad references. Many think that an employer is not allowed to say anything about a previous employee except for positive things, but that is not true.

Sure there are situations where an employer may be out of line and could possibly be sued, but if something is proved to be a fact then in many cases they can state that fact, whether it be negative or positive, to a new potential employer.

Will you receive a bad reference?

Some employers won’t say anything negative about an employee as to avoid any potential conflict or lawsuit. So, even if you believe that something may be brought up, even if it’s real or fake, sometimes nothing will come of it.

However, if you are sure they will say something, then read the tips below.

Don’t include that person as a reference.

If you are afraid of what someone may possibly say about you, then you shouldn’t use that reference. It’s really that simple. Just skip over that person and see if someone else at the company will give you a positive review.

If that doesn’t work, then you may need to take that entire company off of your resume. While it may show a gap, that is much better than them saying something horrible about you that will cost you the job anyways.

Talk to the reference.

If you must use a reference, then you should talk to them about what they should say during a possible reference check. When asking, you should always be polite, of course.

You should ask if an agreement can be created so that you cannot be prevented from earning interviews.

If that doesn’t help and you know the reference is lying, then you should contact someone higher up than them. Contact their boss or the HR office at the company and see what can be done.

Have you ever received a negative job reference? What did you do?

 

What You’re Doing Wrong With Your Business

What You're Doing Wrong With Your BusinessOccasionally, I receive an e-mail asking for any business tips that I may have. I haven’t been working on my business full-time for very long, but I do think I know a good amount about different types of businesses.

Before I switched to full-time self-employment, I worked as a business analyst and dealt with many different types of businesses. I saw many businesses that were thriving, and I also saw many that were making mistakes and not doing quite as well.

This post isn’t meant to scare anyone, it’s meant to be more informative. Not all of the mistakes below will lead to total business failure, but they could lead to something that you don’t want such as lost revenue, net losses, losing employees, losing customers and more.

Here are mistakes that you may be making with your business.

Not trying new ideas.

If you have your own business, it may be hard to listen to others. You may have always done things yourself so you may think that you know what is best.

However, you should always consider new ideas or take tips from others. You don’t have to apply everything to your business, just take in the knowledge at least!

You never know when someone will have an incredible tip that will turn your business from “okay” to AMAZING!

Letting costs get out of control.

No matter how great your business is doing, you still want to watch your budget and watch your expenses. Costs can easily get out of control, and once that happens it is usually hard to get back to normal.

And, if your costs have been out of control for a while, it can be hard to get employees back on track as well. If your costs are uncontrollable, you eventually may find yourself in the negative profit territory even if at one point your business was doing great.

Not looking at new markets ever.

It can be easy to get into a static state with your business. However, if your business isn’t doing the greatest, you may have to look into ways to revive your business. You may have to look into new markets for your product.

An example would be if you are a freelance designer. Maybe you only do designs for lifestyle blogs. This market may not be enough to sustain your business right now. In this case, it may be a good idea to look into other areas such as finance websites, online stores, and so on.

Some like to stay focused on one group, while others like to be more diversified. I would rather be more diversified. If you know that what you are currently doing is not working, then diversifying may be your next step.

Having horrible customer service. 

Bad customer service is all over the place. I really do not know how companies with horrible customer service stay in business, but somehow they do.

No, the customer is not always right, but you should be trying your best to provide great customer service at least most of the time.

What business mistakes have you seen?

 

This post was originally published on February 5, 2014.