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September 21, 2020

Rocío ValenzuelaRocío Valenzuela
Hrider Product Manager

How to choose a Job Performance Evaluation Software

After years of supporting human resources professionals to plan and implement their job performance evaluation processes, from both a strategic and an operational perspective, I think it may be useful for me to share my experience.

At HRider we would like to give back to the human resources community all the good things we receive working with thousands of professionals around the world and act as catalysts for good practices. In addition to sharing our ideas, we learn about the different ways to overcome challenges.

Starting from the base that we know what it is and what a professional performance evaluation process is for, as well as its associated benefits, we will go directly to the moment we decided to do it.

One of the main concerns of human management departments comes in the phase prior to implementing a job performance evaluation process: what system should I use?

Until a few years ago, only large companies with thousands of employees could afford to invest in the expensive information systems offered by the business software market, which also required an enormous amount of time and additional resources to install, deploy, and run. The only possible alternative was to use spreadsheets such as Excel and unwavering morale to work for months to get a glimpse of a result.

Thanks to pay-per-use cloud systems, such as HRider, access to a powerful and agile system for talent management has been democratized, making it possible for groups of any size and sector to compete on equal terms in a globalized world. Now, any team of people can count on an accessible, powerful, modern and very very profitable solution.

Although a while ago I already talked about the importance of digital transformation for the competitiveness of organizations, if we focus specifically on Human Resources functions, we could undoubtedly list the benefits of automating one of the most complex and strategies for managing productivity and talent development: performance evaluation.


Benefits of automating job performance evaluation

Time saver for HR professional

Do you really think it's normal for a talent management professional to be sending out surveys or copying data into Excel? What an HR professional (and the organization) needs is more time for what really matters and less time for bureaucratic tasks that do not add value, more personal satisfaction and cost savings for the organization. A 360° assessment involving all employees is an exponential problem: for 2 employees we need 4 surveys (2 self-assessments and one for each employee to assess the other), for 3 employees 9, for 4 employees 16, ... So it is practically impossible to do it in Excel.

Time saving for employee

Automation not only drastically reduces the time spent by HR professionals, but also by each and every team member who needs to participate. Opening, saving, and sending excel files is no longer the stuff of this century. Now employees know there are more efficient ways to do things, and if you want to avoid an uprising, make it easy for them to participate.

Gain positive impact

Continuing with the previous argument, we need to think: What image do we want to convey? That of a company without resources, when everyone already knows it is possible to do better? We cannot think about employer branding strategies if we do not take care of our employee experience.

Minimizes human error

Calculations, calculations, and more calculations. Doing this manually is not only a complex and, to say the least, tedious task, but if we turn out to be wrong on some small point, our credibility will be damaged and employees will lose confidence in the process.

Have the experience of Professionals

A secret: when you hire software there is much more behind it. A group of experienced professionals who have seen thousands of similar projects could help you solve your doubts and make everything go perfectly.

People Analytics

The numbers are not the end product in themselves, but will help you make decisions faster, more transparent and therefore, the results of those decisions are more effective. .

Process tracking

If you think it is time consuming to manually generate reports using paper or Excel, get ready to track the progress of the process! I think a technician or HR manager has a lot more to contribute than comparing lists of pending surveys, don't you?

Security and confidence in the evaluation process

Moving excel or paper files from one place to another does not guarantee that personal data is treated with the necessary protection. A performance evaluation software will ensure the data quality and its integrity.

In addition, employees will have more confidence in the process if they know there is no margin for error in the data with which decisions will be made.

Cost reduction

Automating is cheaper than spending hours and hours manually creating a process. Especially in those jobs that require the ability to calculate or process a large amount of information. Or even in simple but repetitive processes that do not add value and that take away the opportunity to spend that time on much more strategic tasks.

Once we are clear that performance evaluation software can help us, the following question arises:

What should I consider when choosing a performance evaluation software?

Look for a specialized performance appraisal system

Many generalist systems were originally designed to solve other processes, such as payroll or selection, so when they try to take on the challenge of automating a process as different as performance appraisal, they tend to be inflexible and lack the necessary depth.

For example: the automatic generation of the different evaluation methods (90º, 180º, 270º, 360º or even multi-grade) must take into account the relationships between the evaluated and the evaluators (self-evaluation, supervisors, colleagues, subordinates or clients). ). Or even allowing you to change these roles during the process, if the daily reality requires it.

In short, look for an ally who has thought through all the ins and outs of the performance appraisal process and has found practical solutions to each of the challenges it presents.

Choose an easy-to-use performance appraisal system

Years ago, traditional systems were so complex that only computer engineers could interact with them to customize them to meet the needs of the organization. Now, SaaS systems (pay-as-you-go software in the cloud) like HRider give any HR professional the power to configure, launch and track a performance review process in a friendly and intuitive way.

And what about employees? For them, the system must be so simple that they do not need any training to interact with it.
The key concept: putting people first. The key words: friendly, intuitive, agile and reliable (do not fail!).

A performance evaluation platform that guarantees you autonomy and freedom

If we want to empower the HR department we must give it tools with which it does not need to depend on the IT department or external consultants. Being autonomous allows you to be more agile, faster and is cheaper for the company.

Keep it transparent with a free DEMO

The philosophy of your software vendor is just as important as the technology. Look for professionals who believe in what they do and who are transparent about what you will find as a customer. It's not enough to find pictures of happy employees on the web or in a PowerPoint presentation, that's not cool anymore! Avoid non-transparent systems that will surprise you later.
Choose those that offer you a real working demo, not just a commercial scheme to get your contact information. A demo is a test account, not a commercial presentation.
Show me what you do, and I'll tell you who you are.

That has specialized support and guidance in performance evaluation & talent management

Although we are talking about signing up for an account in a system, you must make sure that in addition to the software you have a team of professionals who will help you learn all the functionalities and who will be able to share with you tips or recommendations that can take your human resources management to the next level.
Payroll preparation has nothing to do with talent development, so you need to make sure that the specialists you work with are fully aware of all the peculiarities of a process with these characteristics.

Software with reliable references

It is very important to know and, if possible, compare references from other organizations that have conducted performance evaluations with the system you are considering. Don't be satisfied with the typical "success stories" section of a website... I've always wondered: were the other projects failures?
There are also software comparison sites, but the vendors usually pay for these rankings, so you need to sharpen your critical sense, just as you would not believe everything they say in a simple ad without checking it out for yourself.
A good idea is to check the Google reviews of the options you have on the table, since they are made by real users, and of course check the references by talking to professional colleagues who have worked with the product you want to use.

Opt for a job performance appraisal system at the cloud

Forget wasting time and resources creating custom systems and return to the 21st century where cloud systems prevent you from having to keep an eye on updating your program with new installations when you want to have the latest news.

A cloud system will ensure that everything is always up-to-date and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and from anywhere.

No installation for either the HR professional or the employees

Related to the previous point, not all systems are 100% in the cloud, look for those that allow the HR administrator and employees to access with just an internet connection.
In the same way, you would make it easier for your employees to participate if you did not require them to install an app if they wanted to access the system from their smartphones to answer their surveys as part of the evaluation process. There is responsive design technology for this, no need to take up space in the device's memory!

Available from anywhere (country)

Cloud technologies make it easy to access from anywhere in the world, which is great if you have employees in different locations.
But you also need to consider support hours. Look for a system that guarantees personalized support in your country's time zone.

Evaluation software that ensures information security and the protection of personal data

Find a company that cares as much about the security of people's data as you do. They are your most important asset and the solution you choose should take into account the various levels of security: physical, technical and organizational. The data of your employees must be well protected.

Opt for a system that lets you customize what you want measure in your performance appraisal:

Do you want to know where your team stands in terms of competencies, knowledge, skills, or other qualitative aspects?
Or do you want to measure quantitative indicators such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
Or do you have a blended assessment model where you assess competencies and objectives, each contributing to the final score in a different way?
Look for a system that is flexible enough to evolve with your organization's needs over time.

Evaluation software with which you can set your own scale valuation

Each organization, professional group, or type of evaluation requires a specific rating scale.
It is important to have a flexible system that allows you to use all possible options: graphical scales, descriptive degree scales, numerical selectors... and the desired number of levels.
The same goes for the KPIs: linear, by ranges, option selectors, whether they are increasing or decreasing.

Corporate Look & Feel

The performance evaluation process is a key moment of interaction with employees, look for a system that allows you to customize all your internal marketing elements, thus strengthening the image of the organization and the corporate identity of the employee.
Use all the moments of interaction with your employees, as well as the evaluation and feedback processes, to create culture!

Evaluation software with Real-time Reports

A software provider that automates performance evaluation should not only provide results reports after the fact. We recommend choosing a system that is powerful enough to provide individual and organizational reports in real time, with the click of a button.
Harness the power of agile feedback between managers and employees with a system that allows them to have their review reports at their fingertips.

Evaluation system that allows you to download the information

Look for a provider, not a hijacker. A healthy relationship is a free relationship where you, the customer, have the peace of mind that your data is yours and will always be available for viewing and downloading. If you continue to use your system year after year, do so out of satisfaction, not obligation.
Choose a People Analytics system that not only allows you to download graphs and reports in PDF, but also allows you to export all your results in Excel.
Information is power, don't forget that.

Evaluation software including Action Plans

The performance review itself is very useful, it has so many benefits. But it is convenient not to be left alone with it when you can do so much more.
Imagine a GPS: The performance review will give you your current location, but the ability to create an individual action plan will give you the path to where you want to be.
Having a system that allows you to have action plans will help you close the circle of continuous improvement.

Software for creating Talent Maps

If, in addition to measuring performance, you want to visualize key employees at a glance or correlate evaluation results with others such as potential or leadership, you can rely on performance matrixes. (the best known is a 9 Box).

Find an evaluation platform that allows you to go further and that also has this interesting function... can we give you a clue? ;-)

That has an API for Integration with other corporate systems

Specialization is the future, but if you need your specialized systems to work together and in harmony, choose technology providers with an open philosophy to collaboration that make their application programming interface (API) available to you. in case you need it now or in the future.

Hire mode

Last but not least, you need to consider the service's subscription model: does it allow you to use the service indefinitely, or does it require you to pay for evaluations, surveys, or features you want to use? Look for a transparent cost system with no surprises that allows you to provide feedback on a recurring basis without worrying about how much more each process will cost you.
Compare direct costs as well as indirect costs such as the time required for implementation.
Whether you know what you want or are open to being surprised by technology, this checklist will help you remember some basic requirements for success in talent management. The time for digital transformation in human resources is now!