6 Tips for Managing Your HR Software Subscriptions

Managing a streamlined HR Tech stack means you’re on top of subscription expiration dates, costs, and updates. It sounds complicated, but it’s not. Here are six tips that will help make sure you’re getting the most out of these solutions and saving as much as possible. 

Be smart about ownership

Many times the most important aspect of managing HR software subscriptions is overlooked, especially at small and mid sized companies. Every vendor needs an account owner as the main point of contact for the vendor.  If you’re reading this article, this may be you. The account owner is the first to get notified when something about the subscription changes — like a price increase — or when a renewal is due. It’s also likely that the owner will have the most authority and access within the tool. It’s not a job to be taken lightly. 

Your IT or operations manager would perhaps be best positioned to deal with technical issues such as integrations and customisation. On the other hand, a company’s Head of HR might need this amount of control to run their department effectively. 

There is no right or wrong person to be the account owner, but they should be a trustworthy member of your team. If the owner leaves your company, their account must be transferred as soon as possible to avoid access from outside your organization and stay on top of account changes.

One business we know recently had their PeopleOps lead leave for another role. It took six weeks to figure out the details behind the systems she was managing. And, a free trial that she had started rolled into an annual contract for a vendor that literally no one on the team was using which cost the company $7k. Don’t let this happen to your company!

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Use your renewal to renegotiate price

Your software subscitpions’s renewal date is a great time to renegotiate your price, providing you like your software and want to keep using it. Ask the vendor if a renewal can involve a discount or added features for the same price. Remember, they want to keep your business and they’ll be prepared to fight for it. 

It’s best to enter negotiations armed with pricing insights from competitors and from other companies that use the same software as you. That way, you’ll know you’re getting a good deal. SSR’s HR software price check is the best point of call to get this information. 

Keep your HR software contracts organized

Whenever you get a new tool, download the service agreement and file it in a place dedicated to software-related contracts. Add key details like your sign-up date, payment method, primary vendor contact, and renewal date to a tech stack spreadsheet. 

Know what you’re paying for tools, and review your software expenses often to make sure you’re getting a good deal from your vendor. 

Another pro tip is to set up inbox rules so that messages from vendors get logged into a separate folder in your email for easy future reference.

Understand your renewal terms 

Renewals may be automated and lock you into a new 12 or 24-month period if you don’t give notice of termination. When you sign up for a tool, take heed of the notice period and set reminders to review the tool’s value at least six weeks before the last date to notify the vendor. 

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Many Saas (software as a service) subscriptions dissuade you from unsubscribing by making you pay a cancellation penalty if you stop your subscription within the set period. Missing a deadline to cancel before it rolls over can therefore be a costly affair. 

Unfortunately, we also find that most account managers at vendors aren’t great at reminding you the renewal is coming up. They are incentivized to keep you on the plan, so why give you ample time to debate signing up for another year.

Don’t renew out of software inertia

Software inertia happens when we stick to a tool that we’re unhappy with because moving to a new solution is intimidating. To be fair, meeting vendors, attending software demos, migrating your employee database, and training users on a new tool takes time. 

However, once you’re up and running, you’ll be in a far better position than you’d have been by renewing a tool that frustrates your team. The best place to start looking for a new solution is an impartial expert. Speaking to an HR software advisor can help you identify vendors matched to your organizational needs.

Keep a clean house

Send out a quarterly survey to determine who on your team is using your HR software solutions frequently enough to validate a continued subscription. 

You may find that you can get away with fewer seats or forego legacy tools that have no day-to-day use. You may also find that investing in a core HR software that covers various aspects of hiring and employee management is better than having multiple tools dedicated to a single function (such as software dedicated to employee onboarding, interview scheduling, etc.)

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While a well-managed HR Tech stack can be a massive asset to your business, one that is in disarray can quickly become a costly burden. Use these tips to make sure yours is always in good health and working for you at a reasonable price. 

Author info

Frieda-Marié de Jager is the Senior Content Marketing Editor for SelectSoftware Reviews— the authority on top solutions and vendors in the HR Technology space. She holds a BTech degree in design and advocates all forms of technology and AI that makes workpaces better. 

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