Are you looking at purchasing HR management?  Reviewing  software demos is a great first step.  A demo is not the same thing as a trial.  Demos are usually quick visual introductory videos that go over the basic applications of a software program.  They are basically like window shopping, in that  they allow you to quickly see the entire package in an instant without becoming too involved.

In this article, we will cover what an HR management system demo entails and what you can gain from giving one a try.  

Beginning Expectations

Most demos begin by presenting some basic information to make sure that the software is a good fit. First, you will have to check the system requirements to make sure your hardware can handle the applications.  At this stage, you will also note whether the software is a cloud-based SaaS or an in-house SaaP.

The demo will also likely walk you through its basic functions, some background information on the company behind it, and what each feature can offer you. At this point, you will likely learn pretty quickly what you are looking for in an HR management system. 

For example, are you seeking an a la carte system that allows you to purchase only the features you want, or a full-service, all-in-one package? Which type of system offers the most value for your specific business needs? You can consider these factors during the demo. 

Important Features 

The core of any system is the employee’s’ database.  This is the record- keeping component that supports all the other applications.  

One important factor to consider during the demo is how well all its systems are organized. Do they have a dashboard application that makes sense to you?  Remember, you are the one who will be using it.  What about mobile applications? Is there a portal that allows employees to access their own records?

New hires take time to onboard. The most efficient HR programs should offer specific applications to help. Outsourced recruiting and contract labor resources are common functions. 

If you are constantly competing for people with in-demand skill sets, look for packages that utilize passive candidates and social media marketing.  Tracking and onboarding should be a seamless extension of the application process.

You will also want to consider training features.  Look for workflows that delegate responsibilities and connect all training team members in one centralized database. Other media should be easily incorporated, and performance reviews should be easily administered, scored, and filed.

Additionally, you will want to consider which attendance features work best for your company.  Whether you want your employees to clock in using their fingerprints or to keep track of workers with GPS accuracy, all attendance data should be linked to pay applications.

Finally, consider the payroll capabilities of the program. Does it handle tax calculations, withholdings, and paycheck disbursement according to pay rate and overtime criteria? These features can help streamline tedious processes.

Verdict: A Demo is a Great Tool, But It is Not Exhaustive 

When it’s all said and done, remember that demos are promotional material designed to pique your interest.  They are not all- inclusive because they do not want to burn you out; they want you to buy. However, they are a great place to start and can give you a feel for a product. Give HR management system demos a try, but always be willing to keep an open mind, adjust your expectations, and even revise them completely based on your company’s needs.

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