Choosing a new performance appraisal software supplier is a critical business decision and one which should not be taken lightly. You’ll probably find a number of performance appraisal software suppliers that appear to satisfy the majority, if not all, of your requirements. Selecting one over the other is the tricky bit.

Consider the following when making your decision…

Appraisal software demonstrations

Don’t be taken in by product demonstrations – they’re often time consuming and a great sales tool. It’s pointless sitting through a demonstration with a potential hr software supplier without first taking the time to discuss your business requirements, objectives and budget.

It’s important to validate the user friendliness and functionality of a system but, rather than being drawn towards the look of the software, bear in mind that there are dozens of factors involved in choosing the most appropriate hr software for your organisation.

Demonstrations should be one of the last steps of the decision making process. A demonstration should be used to assess the functionality and interface of the platform.

Forming a new business relationship

When choosing a new appraisal software supplier, you’re forming a relationship with a new business partner which should hopefully last for many years.

Having a great product is not enough; your software supplier should also show a commitment to customer service and an understanding of your specific business challenges. Ideally your appraisal supplier should have clients in similar industries or market sectors.

Asking the right questions

It’s important to ask the right questions, don’t be embarrassed to vet potential appraisal software suppliers thoroughly.

Ask questions such as; how many other companies in similar industries use the software? Is the software current? How proven is it? How much annual investment is put into new products? How long has the software company been operating? What’s the size of their client base? Will the software integrate with existing business systems?


Don’t select an appraisal software supplier on price alone. Make sure there are no hidden extras or that you’re paying for part of a system you don’t really need.

It’s important to separate the different elements of the costing structure for example; customisation, implementation, training, support. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.

Time Frames

Take your time. Choosing a new appraisal software supplier is not a process which should be rushed. Ensure that you don’t make the wrong decision because one supplier promises they’ll deliver in time for the start of your annual appraisal process. A rash decision could be an expensive mistake.


Don't make the mistake of assuming that appraisers and employees already know what they’re supposed to do and why they’re supposed to do it. Organise training sessions for appraisers and briefing sessions for employees. The aim of these sessions is not so much aimed at teaching people how to use the appraisal system, but more to focus on why the system is worthwhile committing to and the benefits that will come from it.

Ideally, these sessions ensure that everyone fully understands the concept of performance appraisals, the part they will play in the appraisal process and the benefits they will derive. Objective setting should always be included in the training because this forms a solid base around which performance can be reviewed, managed and developed.

Oh yes, one last tip …. Beware of the appraisal software supplier that says yes to everything!