If you make human resources your career choice, sooner or later you will be involved in the implementation of a new human resources software application. Chances are highly likely you will be involved in multiple implementations. Having experience with setting up and using those products can directly affect your marketability as an HR professional, an important consideration given today’s economy. The more HR systems and types of systems you have experience with, the more marketable you become.

Having experience with these systems may also offer career change opportunities you may not have been presented with otherwise. I have always believed the best implementation expert, trainer, or perhaps even best sales person for an HR software system would be someone who actively used that system. All the training in the world will not replace real world experience with using a system. I can say without question that I would have been better at implementing, training, or selling these systems if I had used them in a live setting. I worked with HRIS systems for 15 years but never as an end user. HR software companies often hire experienced and talented users of their applications. You could also contact these companies and find out about becoming a contract implementation or training expert. If you have experience with various HR software systems, you may have career opportunities that you did not know even existed.

Specific systems that can advance your career

Let me prove what I am saying. If you go to monster.com and type the name of one of many of the leading HR software providers or types of HR software systems, you will see a list of companies that are looking to hire someone with that exact experience. Are you qualified for these positions?

Monster.com Search Results by Term
• Sage Abra – 14
• Ultipro – 17
• ADP – 863
• People Soft – 228
• Success Factors – 755

General terms
• HRIS – 506
• HR and Payroll Software – 265
• Talent Management Software – 2037

These results show by learning specific HR systems, or even types of HR systems, you as an HR professional can significantly increase the number of jobs for which you are qualified to apply. These are only the results from Monster.com. You may also want to try careerbuilder.com or even the SHRM job board.

Are these systems actually that different?

I showed both individual system names as well as types of systems. Do I think a company that is looking to hire someone with Abra experience won’t hire someone with Ultipro experience? Truthfully, I think most HR systems are similar enough that if you have been involved with the implementation and have experience with any HRIS product, you will be able to quickly get up to speed on any other. I think the same can be said for talent management, payroll, or any type of HR software systems. There are exceptions but overall, I think the types of systems you gain experience with may be more important than the actual systems.

Author's Bio: 

Clay C. Scroggin has over fifteen years of experience in the Human Resource Software industry. Clay is currently the President and owner of CompareHRIS.com, a web site dedicated to assisting HR professionals with their search, selection, implementation and use of HR software. CompareHRIS.com offers an extremely comprehensive HRIS selection tool to assist you with your HRIS, HRMS or HR software selection process. Make sure to download CompareHRIS.com’s free HR and Payroll Software Buyer’s Guide.