The 3 Most Important Questions to Include in Your HR Software RFP

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If you’ve been asked to select a vendor and implement you new, critical HR software, then you’re in for a tough time; it’s quite a daunting task.

For instance, you may have a number of internal stakeholders who all have different requirements.

Or, when you look at the market, there’re too many options and you’re faced with an uncountable number of features, prices, and suppliers.

How do you find a way to navigate these complex waters?

Child with many question marks

The key is to keep things simple, and ask the right questions in an HR software RFP. There are three essential ones.

1. Demand an overview of what is unique and why it’s perfect for you

You could, of course, read every response to your RFP. You’ll find many hundreds of pages and thousands of words. Can you really pick out whether this option is right for you? Alternatively, ask suppliers to do their job properly and tell you specifically why their offering is unique and perfect for you.

The response to this question will be a key moment. If suppliers can’t differentiate themselves and tell you why their option is so good for you, then you need to avoid them. They either can’t differentiate themselves from their competitors or they don’t really understand what you need.

On the other hand, if you get the sense that they really understand what you’re after and can genuinely fulfill it, you’ll feel a sense of re-assurance. These are the ones who can progress to the next stage of your evaluation process.

2. Request the costs over five years

A typical complaint is that the costs are never what they first appeared to be.

To avoid this, be specific about your requirements and your likely usage. Next, ask suppliers to give you clear, fixed pricing, based on these requirements. It is likely that they will all have different pricing approaches. So, it may be worth asking them all to complete a template you’ve prepared for pricing so that comparing them is easy.

Asking them to do this for a five-year period is useful as it’s a sensible time to expect software to last and for you to foresee future usage levels. This way, you’ll be able to genuinely compare the different costs of each option.

3. Ask for similar case studies and reference sites

It’s all very well for suppliers to be promoting themselves, but what you need for real re-assurance is a number of case studies and reference sites. Ask for both of these to be from customers who are a similar profile to you and who had similar requirements.

The reason for this is that companies spend huge amounts on glossy marketing and slick salespeople. However, when you’re speaking directly to an impartial peer in another company, you can get a real sense of whether suppliers really are as good as they say they are, whether their solution really works, and whether there are any problems that you didn’t know to ask about.

Asking these three key questions in your RFP will enable you to satisfy yourself, and your boss, quickly and easily as to why you picked that particular provider.  Selecting a vendor to implement you new, critical HR software, is no easy task, but it is one that, with a little careful planning, can be achieved with ease and satisfaction.


Have you run into any issues with HR software that you wished you’d asked about? Tell us about them in the comments!

Looking for Human Resource software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Human Resource software solutions.

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About the Author


Heather Foley

Heather Foley is a consultant at, a UK-based HR consultancy.



Spot on Heather! A great highlight on redefining what an RFP should be in today’s world.

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