A Modern Approach to the HRIS RFP Process

The traditional HRIS RFP process is no longer serving the best interest of buyers. The tedious, time-consuming process doesn't help companies get any closer to finding the right partner. It's time for a modern shake-up to buying HRIS with the help of HR Tech Brokers

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
January 17, 2024
OutSail advisor helping client with checkmark

Welcome to the revolution of the HRIS RFP process! In a world where HR Technology is constantly evolving, traditional approaches to selecting the right HRIS (Human Resource Information System) have become outdated. Gone are the days of endless Excel spreadsheets and feature checklists that leave you feeling lost in a sea of options.

It's time to embrace a modern approach that puts your business outcomes front and center. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of revolutionizing your HRIS RFP (Request for Proposal) with a focus on better outcomes, thanks to the help of HR Tech Brokers like OutSail.

The Outdated RFP Process

Challenges with Traditional Methods

Traditional RFP processes have their fair share of challenges. Picture this: you send out a lengthy RFP to multiple HRIS vendors, and they respond with equally extensive documents. Sorting through these responses becomes a daunting task, and the sheer volume of information often leads to analysis paralysis. Worse yet, functional parity among vendors makes it difficult to distinguish one from another. The result? A time-consuming process that doesn't necessarily yield the best outcomes for your business.

Evolving Needs in HRIS Selection

The HR landscape has evolved dramatically over the years, and your HRIS selection process should reflect these changes. HRIS is no longer just about managing employee data; it's about strategic decision-making, analytics, and enhancing the overall employee experience. This evolution necessitates a more strategic approach to HRIS selection, one that focuses on driving real business value.

Modernizing the RFP with HR Tech Brokers

The Role of HR Tech Brokers Like OutSail

Enter the HR Tech Broker – your trusted ally in navigating the complex HRIS landscape. Companies like OutSail specialize in connecting businesses with the right HR technology solutions. They bring in-depth market knowledge, expertise, and streamlined processes to the table, transforming the RFP process into a smoother, more efficient journey.

Benefits of a Broker-led Approach

The advantages of a broker-led approach are numerous. You'll benefit from their wealth of experience, allowing you to skip the extensive research phase. They can help you identify the right vendors quickly and guide you through the entire process. This expertise ensures that you make informed decisions that align with your unique HRIS needs.

A New Approach to RFPs

In this modernized RFP approach, we shift the focus from extensive feature lists to high-level business outcomes. Instead of getting lost in a labyrinth of features, ask yourself, "What are the results we want to achieve with our HRIS?" By defining clear business outcomes, you set the stage for a more targeted and effective selection process.

Creating a Targeted Shortlist

Size Match & Scalability, Feature Match, and Characteristic Match are your new best friends when it comes to narrowing down the vendor pool. Size Match ensures that the vendor's scale aligns with your organization's needs. Feature Match ensures that the essential functionalities you require are present. Characteristic Match looks at vendor culture, support, and alignment with your values.

Developing Targeted Scorecards and Meeting Agendas

Now that you have your business outcomes defined, it's time to turn them into actionable evaluation tools. Create customized scorecards that allow you to objectively compare vendors based on their ability to meet your business objectives. Craft meeting agendas that focus on scenarios relevant to your specific needs. This targeted approach saves time and ensures that you're getting the information that matters most.

Collaborative Vendor Evaluation

Gone are the days of a single person making the decision. With a team-based rating system, you involve key stakeholders from various departments. This collaborative approach provides a holistic assessment of each vendor, ensuring that the chosen solution aligns with the needs of the entire organization.

Effective Negotiation Strategies

Negotiating with vendors can be intimidating, but with the right strategies, you can secure the best terms and pricing. Leverage the insights gathered during the evaluation process to negotiate effectively. Remember, it's not just about getting the lowest price; it's about securing a partnership that will drive your business outcomes.

Finalizing the Selection

Security and Reference Checks

Before finalizing your decision, don't forget the critical step of security and reference checks. Ensure that the chosen vendor meets your security standards, protecting your sensitive HR data. Reach out to references to gain valuable insights into the vendor's track record and customer satisfaction.

Making the Informed Choice

Armed with a clear focus on business outcomes, a targeted shortlist, collaborative evaluations, and effective negotiation, you're now ready to make the informed choice. Select the HRIS vendor that aligns best with your objectives and is poised to drive positive business outcomes.


In conclusion, the modern approach to HRIS RFPs revolutionizes the way businesses select their HR technology. By shifting the focus from features to business outcomes, partnering with HR Tech Brokers, and embracing collaborative evaluation, you can streamline the process, save time, and ultimately achieve better results. It's time to say goodbye to the old, inefficient ways and usher in a new era of HRIS selection that puts your business's success at the forefront. Don't wait; start your modernized HRIS RFP journey today!

1. What is an HRIS RFP, and why is the traditional process considered outdated?

An HRIS RFP (Request for Proposal) is a document used by organizations to solicit bids from HRIS vendors for their software solutions. The traditional process is considered outdated because it relies on lengthy documents and feature checklists, leading to analysis paralysis and often failing to align with evolving HR needs.

2. What role do HR Tech Brokers like OutSail play in modernizing the HRIS RFP process?

HR Tech Brokers act as trusted advisors, leveraging their market knowledge and expertise to help businesses navigate the complex HRIS landscape. They streamline the RFP process, providing insights, guidance, and vendor recommendations tailored to each organization's unique needs.

3. How does the modernized RFP approach shift the focus from traditional methods?

The modernized RFP approach shifts the focus from exhaustive feature lists to high-level business outcomes. Instead of getting lost in a sea of features, organizations define clear business objectives and evaluate vendors based on their ability to achieve those outcomes.

4. What are some key benefits of a broker-led approach to HRIS selection?

Benefits include faster vendor identification, informed decision-making, and access to expertise without extensive research. HR Tech Brokers help organizations make informed decisions aligned with their HRIS needs, saving time and ensuring better outcomes.

5. What steps are involved in the modernized RFP approach to HRIS selection?

The steps include creating a targeted shortlist based on size, features, and characteristics, developing customized scorecards and meeting agendas, conducting collaborative vendor evaluations, employing effective negotiation strategies, and finalizing the selection after security and reference checks.

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Meet the Author

Brett Ungashick
OutSail HRIS Advisor
Brett Ungashick, the friendly face behind OutSail, started his career at LinkedIn, selling HR software. This experience sparked an idea, leading him to create OutSail in 2018. Based in Denver, OutSail simplifies the HR software selection process, and Brett's hands-on approach has already helped over 1,000 companies, including SalesLoft, Hudl and DoorDash. He's a go-to guy for all things HR Tech, supporting companies in every industry and across 20+ countries. When he's not demystifying HR tech, you'll find Brett enjoying a round of golf or skiing down Colorado's slopes, always happy to chat about work or play.

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