What To Look For In An HCM Provider

What Is An HCM Provider?

An HCM provider is a business that offers workforce solutions to its clients. HCM is short for Human Capital Management. Human Capital Management is about optimizing the workforce of any business or organization. So HCM providers help businesses to make the most effective use of their workforce.

What Makes Up HCM?

Human Capital Management includes all the processes, practices, and HRIS that help a business to make the best use of its workforce.

Processes - The methods used to attract applicants, hire employees, and perform work-related tasks describe the processes within an organization.

Practices - The way employees are trained, work, and are mobilized within an organization reflect the practices of the organization.

HRIS - The Human Resources Information Systems that is used to track applicants, hire employees, analyze, and store all employee-related data. 

A good HCM provider can help you to achieve the best output from your workforce. They can help you to streamline processes and manage labor costs. You can get done more for less with the help of an HCM. However, all HCMs are not created equal. When purchasing an HCM solution, pay attention to some of the following points: 

Type Of Solution

You might not be sure about exactly what type of workforce solution you are looking for. You might not even realize what the actual problems and solutions are when it comes to optimizing your workforce. However, you must at least make a list of the workforce-related issues that your business is struggling with. 

Are you struggling because payroll processes are manual and tedious? Is there too much repetitious work? Are you struggling to find a good way to attract and track applicants? Is managing employee records a headache? Can you even find the relevant employee records when you need them? 

After noting down the workforce-related struggles that your business is facing, think about why you are in such a conundrum? Is it because you are running a new business? Is it because there are too few people handling an ever-growing amount of HR-related tasks? Has your business experienced a sudden growth that has taken a toll on the limits of your HR capabilities? Or is it that you are using outdated tools, technologies, and methods to keep up with your workforce requirements?

Therefore, when you are looking for HCM solutions, look for an HCM provider that can help you with the specific issues that are preventing you from making the best use of your workforce. Is the HCM provider you are looking at selling a software program or will they be able to help you by designing the best workforce practices? Do they provide full-service solutions? Will you be able to use your existing software programs? Can you just get the specific add-ons or software integrations you need instead of purchasing unnecessary extras in a package?

Cost of HCM Solution

The cost of the HCM solution should provide you with a return on investment. Consider the long term savings you will realize when you purchase a particular HCM solution. For example, are you going to be able to automate certain processes to the extent that you will save on the labor costs associated with these processes? 

Are the software programs or integrations you are thinking of purchasing be functional over the long term? It is no use to pay for software programs or integrations that will not work or be obsolete in a few years? 

Is the cost of the HCM solution you are considering in line with what their competitors offer? Is an HCM provider delivering a higher level of service  for the higher than average price it is charging? Is the HCM provider offering lower than average prices going to be able to meet your workforce optimization needs? Can you even afford to get started with the HCM provider you are considering? Compare at least 3 to 5 HCM providers to settle on the right price for the right service or solution.

Ease Of Use

Even when you find a cost-effective workforce solution, you must consider the ease with which you, your managers, or your HR workers can use the solution. For example, an automated but complicated applicant tracking system might make it difficult for you to sort through job applicants. 

If you or your team are struggling to learn or use a software program that is supposed to improve payroll processing, then you might end up with more payroll-related problems than you had when you initially went searching for a payroll solution.

Every process designed by an HCM provider must be easy to learn and easy to follow for you as the customer. Every software program or integration they offer must make your work easier and faster to complete. A system or solution that nobody ends up using will end up becoming an expensive mistake for you.

Customer Service

Will you receive customer service after you purchase a solution from an HCM provider? This is very important especially when you purchase software programs or customized integrations from an HCM provider. It is not a question of if you will need customer support but a question of when you will need customer support for a software solution that you purchase from an HCM vendor. 

Consider if an HCM vendor provides dedicated customer service. Are there people who will be well versed with the needs of your business - especially if you purchase customized solutions?  How quickly can you access customer service? Is customer service automated or are there live representatives that can help you promptly. You cannot wait days or weeks for customer support to get back to you when you have to run and process payroll today.

Do you have to pay extra for dedicated customer service or any customer service? Negotiate for the best customer service terms when purchasing workforce solutions from your HCM vendor. 

Customization Of Workforce Solutions

Find an HCM provider that can customize solutions for the unique needs of your business. An HCM provider should carefully examine every workforce resource you have within your organization. Instead of selling you all their tools and services, they should help you to leverage the use of your in-house resources.

For example, If you have a payroll system that works but is not integrated with employee time clocks, then HCM should not be replacing your payroll system and time clocks in this case. Instead, your HCM provider should create a custom integration between your employee time clocks and the payroll system.

If the job hiring and payroll processes are a mix of disjointed manual and computerized procedures, then the HCM provider should step in to systematize and automate as many tasks as possible.

The cost of customizing a few services should not be so high that it would force a customer to abandon the use of working in-house tools in order to purchase full services from an HCM provider.

Updated Technology

An HCM provider should provide you with software solutions that use current and updated technology. You do not want to be purchasing tools or systems designed with outdated or slow software programs. 

Does the HCM vendor provide timely system updates? Do updates and upgrades cost extra money?

Employee Self-Service

Employee-self service is a great tool for incorporating into your HCM solution. Employee self-service features designed for your company’s needs can help reduce the HR workload.

For example, self-service tools will allow employees to update their own addresses, tax and benefits information. HR will benefit by not wasting time with data entry. You will also reduce paperwork clutter. In addition, you will not have private employee information lying around to be processed. It will also help with employee engagement when employees know that the information they want to update can get updated at their convenience. 

So look for easy-to-use employee self-service tools from your HR vendor. Ensure that the user interface is easy and intuitive to use for your employees.

Look for mobile compatibility for employee-self service options on your workforce systems. A lot of people use their mobile devices to complete tasks such as paying bills and purchasing supplies. So finding an HCM provider that can help employees to access their work-related information via mobile devices.

Reporting And Data-Driven Solutions

A robust HCM solution should provide on-demand reports. You must be able to print reports with the most updated information at your convenience. 

Reports should also be customizable. In fact, you should be able to set templates for your favorite, customized reports. The availability of these shortcuts in software solutions will help you to minimize the time you use to produce the reports that you need for making important business decisions.

The HCM solution must be able to provide data-driven solutions for your business. For example, your HCM provider should either use your workforce data to give you advice or their reporting metrics should include features that can help you to understand how different aspects of workforce data tie in together. 

A good HCM can analyze your workforce data to give you helpful insights into your industry, business, and competitors. You can plan and develop your workforce to meet future business needs by getting good data-driven advice from your HCM provider.


Managing a workforce requires complying with local and national laws regarding minimum wages, sick leave pay, overtime pay, payroll taxes, and other working conditions. It is difficult for business owners to keep up with all the updates and changes that occur in labor and wage laws annually. Matters become even more complex when you are running a business that is located in several different areas. You also have to abide by a different set of wage and labor laws for employees who work in different cities, counties, and states.

Therefore, your HCM provider must provide you with solutions that comply with wage and tax laws. For example, a payroll program should update the rate at which wages are taxed if payroll tax rates change. Minimum wage and overtime wage formulas must be updated with minimum wage rate changes.

Regular software updates are one thing. However, wage rates and tax changes can kick in at any period in the year. Choose an HCM provider that keeps up with changes in labor and tax laws. An HCM provider must test and program their software ahead of time so that your payroll program is always compliant with updated laws.

If an HCM provider designs or reconfigures your recruiting and hiring procedures, it must abide by Equal Employment Opportunity laws. Application forms, interviewing, and hiring processes, must be thoroughly vetted for anti-discriminatory practices. 

Adoption Of Solution

The most important thing to consider before purchasing any type of HCM solution from a vendor is to check and find out who uses their solutions. Are there reviews and testimonials from actual clients? What are the most widely used HCM solutions by businesses of your size in your industry?

Some HCM providers focus on particular industries and others focus on businesses of a certain size. For example, LinkHCM focuses on providing tools and HCM solutions for midsize businesses.


Make the most of the human capital at work to save time and money. Use the savings of time and money in operating and growing your business. The best way to optimize the use of your workforce is to use Human Capital Management Solutions (HCM). HCM helps in automating and  streamlining tasks, workflows, and processes. 

An effective HCM provider can help you to make data-driven workforce decisions. They can also help you to stay compliant with wage and tax laws by providing you with updated payroll processing software. They can also make your employees' lives easier by providing easy-to-use employee self-service tools on your HRIS.

HCM providers such as LinkHCM can help you to make the most effective use of your workforce by customizing HCM solutions for your business. 

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