May 09, 2023
May 09, 2023
Contributor: Philip Booth
Ask these questions to land on a solution that fully meets — or even exceeds — stakeholders’ expectations.
Workforce management (WFM) software, which is designed to plan, track and manage the operations of hourly and contingent workers, can transform business and HR operations by enabling new ways of working. It automatically optimizes scheduling to trim labor costs and boost employee engagement. At the same time, it ensures compliance with employment laws and regulations, including those associated with minimum wage and overtime.
“We see organizations transform when they use the correct workforce management application,” says Ranadip Chandra, Senior Principal Analyst at Gartner. “However, finding the right provider is really hard, because the market is not only very fragmented — it also continues to rapidly change and evolve. We tell clients that if they want to realize the transformative effect WFM has, they have to use a robust process for evaluations and buying.”
Choosing the best solution for your organization requires evaluating your needs and asking the right questions.
Advanced features: Leading-edge solutions help reduce avoidable attrition among frontline and hourly workers, by driving flexible work schedules and “continuous listening” analysis through built-in or integrated surveying tools.
Cyberthreats: The outage of the Kronos Private Cloud (KPC) products caused by a ransomware attack is leading customers to abandon legacy WFM applications.
Worker-deployment issues: A shortage of available employees in many industries and regions, along with supply chain interruptions and limited product availability, is driving investment in advanced scheduling and planning functions that allow existing workers to be deployed as effectively as possible.
Before beginning the selection process, create a documented checklist to ensure tasks are completed correctly and on time, and assign specific actions to the appropriate team members. Complete these key steps:
Build your team of evaluation experts
Identify essential needs
Explore technology basics
Survey the vendor landscape
Designate use case requirements
Identify processes and use cases that the software must support
Specify detailed requirements
Rank them by importance
Gain consensus on those requirements from key stakeholders.
Share objectives and requirements with vendors
Examine their pitches and proposals
Conduct detailed due diligence
Finalize contract parameters and pricing
Negotiate specific terms
Execute the contract
Onboard the vendor
Begin implementing the solution
Gartner BuySmart™ enables you to complete these tasks more effectively and efficiently, thus driving cost savings and reducing strain on resources.
Ensure that every vendor you’re considering can consistently deliver on its promised capabilities. Use Gartner BuySmart™ to determine whether the provider vendor is in your market, access peer reviews and feedback, and check the opinions of industry experts.
A WFM software should:
Accurately measure employees’ time at work and time off, and transmit this information to payroll and other HR systems.
Deliver tools to help employers comply with legislation and agreements regarding working time, pay and leave.
Enable efficient, fair work schedules (sometimes referred to as “rotas” or “rosters”) and provide tools to track employee productivity.
Read now: 9 Future of Work Trends For 2023
Understanding your requirements is essential to any successful technology evaluation. Gartner BuySmart™ offers libraries of requirements, assembled by our experts, to help you create a robust list customizable to your organization’s needs, and ultimately ensure that the technology you choose does what you need it to do. A small sample of requirements for WFM includes:
Absence management: Records planned and unplanned employees absences, and includes features to track and calculate accrued paid time off
Basic scheduling: Enables the creation and publication of basic electronic scheduling for use in communication and other services
Product usability: Provides easily understood, accessible interfaces with intuitive designs to facilitate user engagement
Time, attendance and time attestations of employees: Records the working time and attendance and calculates pay for hourly workers. Prompts employees to affirm that their working time and attendance has been correctly recorded
Capacity planning: Enables long-term (more than three months in advance) labor resource planning
Customization of pay/workforce rules: Enables customization of the time and attendance rule engine, incorporating existing pay and labor agreements
Hardware: Provides time entry and authentication hardware such as time clocks (does not include on-premises servers). Includes credential time clocks, such as facial, voice and iris recognition, so workers don’t need to touch devices when clocking in or out
Labor forecasting: Estimates the required number of staffing hours for scheduling
Employee messaging and communications: Supports a messaging function to enable employee collaboration and dissemination of information from managers or corporate
It should enable you to:
Deliver an improved employee experience to the hourly workforce by reconfiguring existing WFM solutions to incorporate more flexible workforce scheduling.
Migrate any on-premises, single-tenant, vendor-hosted cloud WFM applications to the latest generation of cloud solutions within the next year or two, so as to access the latest capabilities and mitigate risk.
Link investments in WFM to broader organizational initiatives by connecting the organization’s WFM strategy with human capital management (HCM), digital workplace and other critical application strategies.
Evaluate potential vendors critically and thoroughly by using RFPs to quantify their different levels of suitability and engaging with multiple vendors — including vendors from different categories. In this highly fragmented market, there is great variation in terms of product capabilities and cost.
Ranadip Chandra is a Research Analyst for the IT Leaders (ITL) constituency. He focuses on the human capital management (HCM) applications market, core HR (HRIS and payroll), workforce management, integrated HR service management, and blockchain applications in HR.
Join your peer CHROs and senior HR executives from leading organizations to discuss specific HR challenges and learn top HR trends and priorities.
Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Market Guide for Workforce Management Applications
Critical Steps to Lead HR Technology Vendor Demonstrations
HR Technology Management Maturity Assessment Report, 2023
3 Steps to Maintaining an Evergreen Recruitment Technology Strategy
Hype Cycle for Human Capital Management Technology, 2022
Market Guide for (Internal) Talent Marketplaces
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.