Employee Benefits Consultancy Network

How to Select Employee Benefit Technology

Recently there has been a shift change in how we use media and as a result there has been an explosion of firms offering new apps and online portals to manage benefits. How do you select the best from the rest?


Create a team

You will need a cross-functional team to review proposals. Typically this will include stakeholders from HR, Finance, IT and Procurement, but try to represent users as well.


Mission, form and function

It is easy to be seduced by the latest technology only to find it doesn’t deliver what you set out to achieve. Are you looking for a system to reduce administration, enhance employer branding, or simply improve benefits take-up? Any new technology needs to fit with the overall mission and it should be adaptable and scalable for future plans.

Key functionality may include:

  • Benefits enrolment, opt-out and communication
  • Voluntary benefits and discounts
  • Shares and long-term incentives
  • Payroll reporting and total reward statements
  • Non-monetary rewards
  • HR documentation
  • International capabilities
  • Benefits audit and benchmarking

According to Capital Employee Benefits’ Employee Insight Report 2015: ‘Technology has also changed our expectations on what was possible and the need for instant response’. These expectations mean that user experience is vital to get employees engaged. Good usability comes from simplicity of design, intuitive look and feel, along with mobility across a range of devices. Single sign-on capability means users can click straight through from your own intranet.


Draw up selection criteria

Based on the research so far, develop a list of deliverables both non-negotiable and nice-to-have. Things to consider include:

  • Pricing, initial and ongoing. Are version upgrades included?
  • Compatibility with other systems
  • Expandable functionality for different benefits
  • User interface and ease of use
  • Reporting and data analytics
  • Implementation process
  • Ongoing help with communication to ensure employee engagement
  • Customer service and support
  • Potential cost savings
Research the alternatives

Do talk to your usual consultants as they will understand your business and they may offer competitive pricing based on your relationship. However, make sure you consider all providers to come up with a list of contenders. Review the HR press for new developments and speak to other companies in your network for recommendations.


Selecting from a list of target suppliers

Develop a request for proposal to gather the information you need from suppliers in a similar format. Be sure to ask for client references and contract details. From the data provided, you will be able create a shortlist. You may wish to organize a beauty parade by asking several vendors to present to your team. However, don’t rely on demonstrations alone. Check client references for any glitches, and ask for a thorough test drive by a sample of your own users.


Final selection

At this stage, having evaluated against your criteria, hopefully you will have found a clear choice of provider. Be prepared to go round again if necessary. Before committing, consider your original mission and confirm the chosen platform is the one to get you there.



IBN is a network of independent employee benefit consulting firms in over 70 countries around the world, providing member firms and their clients with access to international employee benefits expertise.