Eating an Elephant: How a Consultant Can Help with HCM RFPs

December 9, 2021

They say, the way to eat an elephant is by taking one bite at a time.

Human Capital Management systems (aka HCMs) are a vital necessity for employers to keep track of employee data. HCMs can make or break the success of HR team objectives, so finding the right HCM has become an elephant in the room for employers nationwide. RFP is the preferred method of finding a good HCM fit and the process can feel a bit like trying to eat an elephant… but it doesn’t have to feel this way.

A trusted consultant can support employers as they step through the phases of evaluating HCMs. Each phase will uncover valuable intel and partnering with a knowledgeable technology consultant will bring insight to business leaders which can direct effective decision-making.

Discovery Phase

This is the first—and biggest—bite when it comes to an HCM RFP. Taking a deep dive into business operations and the Whys behind them can uncover opportunities for efficiency, especially when turnover has occurred in critical administrative roles. During the discovery phase, it is common to find “band aids” and other issues in existing technologies. With careful introspection, employers can identify goals for improving processes and user experience. A technology consultant can also drive these conversations and facilitate escalations in the market. Once improvement needs are identified, business leaders can then work in concert with a technology consultant to target desires for bread-and-butter modules like Payroll, HRIS, and Benefits Administration.

Demo Phase

This phase allows HCMs to feature their full set of offerings so employers can compare their checklist of discoveries against the HCM system innovation, capabilities, and costs. The number of HCM systems up for review will impact the Demo Phase timeline. It is recommended to plan that each system demo will take up to two full hours plus the time for any internal preparations and communications around the demo event. This is where a consulting team can help mitigate the lift: by guiding an employer to a smaller selection of contenders and handling demo preparation, a consultant can help unpack and rank contenders in regard to function and cost.

Selection & Contracting Phase

The final stage of choosing an HCM can seem like the scariest bite of the elephant, but when employers take careful and comprehensive steps to identify their needs and desires, they can avoid “analysis paralysis,” or the feeling of getting overwhelmed and throwing in the towel. A small, decisive team of decision makers and internal influencers, as well as a trusted technology consultant to provide market intel and contracting support, will aid in the selection process. Avoiding the proverbial “too many cooks in the kitchen” conundrum will improve decision success drastically, which is especially important when considering an implementation timeline.

BTR’s team of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) can help your organization evaluate and determine the best HCM opportunities in the market. Business leaders will find value and potential HCM cost savings, as our SMEs can help review critical contract language around terms, conditions, separation, and even service guarantees. If your organization would like to learn more about BTR services, email to get started today!

About the Author

Kelli LeMieux leads and oversees BTR’s Consulting Division. Her primary focus is bringing new ideas to fruition to solidify BTR’s reputation in the market, and to support overall growth, including change management, within the Consulting team.