A Complete Guide to Migrating to a New HRMS or HRIS Software

A crucial effort that may have a substantial effect on the outcome of your implementation is the migration of your data from your existing human resources information system (or systems) to a new HR information system. The process of moving HR data requires detailed preparation, consideration of a number of different issues, and implementation. In this article, we will walk you through the critical processes and factors involved in effectively migrating to a new HRMS or HRIS software. These actions and considerations are vital to the success of the migration.

Understanding Data Migration and Data Conversion

It is essential to have a clear understanding of the differences between data migration and data conversion before getting started with the migration process. The process of moving data from one computer system to another is referred to as data migration. In the best case scenario, the data migration process would consist just of copying the data from one system to another, as both the old and new systems would have the same data fields and file formats. On the other hand, HR data migration is frequently more difficult than expected due to the disparities in data types and formats that exist between different systems. The process of converting data comes into play at this point. The process of converting data may entail altering or updating HR data in order to conform to the specifications of the new system. You will need to change the data so that it is compatible with the new constraints. For example, if your old system supports 50 characters for a certain field but the new system only enables 40 characters, you will need to do some data conversion.

HR Data Migration Checklist

Follow this thorough checklist to guarantee a successful HR data migration, which includes the following items:

  1. Create a Proactive Plan: It is important to get an early start on the planning process in order to create a detailed road map for the data transfer. This should involve the identification of critical milestones, timetables, and data sources.
  2. Obtain Data Migration Templates: There is a good chance that the new HRMS vendor you choose or your implementation partner offers data migration templates. Get a hold of these templates during the planning phase so that the relocation procedure goes off without a hitch.
  3. Identify Data Sources: Determine in as broad a sense as feasible all of the data sources that will require migration. This extends beyond the capabilities of your current HR system and may encompass spreadsheets in addition to other data sources.
  4. Determine Data Retention: Make a decision on the number of years’ worth of historical data that will be migrated. It is essential to strike a balance between the significance of the data and the amount of work necessary for the conversion. Take into consideration the usefulness of data such as past pay increases or roles that are no longer available.
  5. Select Employee Data to Include: Consider carefully the categories of employees’ data you intend to move before moving them. It’s possible that terminated personnel won’t require a significant transfer. When deciding the scope of the project, you should take compliance demands into consideration.
  6. Plan for Non-Migrated Data: Determine where the non-transferred data will be saved for future reference if it is determined that not all data will be migrated. Think about the money it would take to keep a repository running for this reason, as well as the consequences of doing so.
  7. Assemble the Data Migration Team: Create a group of people who have the appropriate sets of talents. Data extraction, conversion, input validation, and uploading to the new HR system may be part of some roles’ responsibilities.
  8. Define Team Roles: Establish HR’s, IT’s, the vendor’s, and implementation partners’ respective duties unequivocally. In order to avoid misunderstanding, duties should be assigned, and clear lines of responsibility should be established.
  9. Prepare a Responsibility Matrix: Create a matrix that explains duties for each of the distinct tasks, and be sure to account for any potential difficulties. If there are several data sources, then various extraction and conversion processes may be necessary.
  10. Resolve Data Issues: Deal with any data inconsistencies that may crop up throughout the migration process as a result of discrepancies in the data types or naming standards used by the different systems. Take, for example, the responsibility of handling status denotations such as “FT” and “full-time.”
  11. Conduct Mock Migrations: During the go-live phase, it is important to validate data conversions by carrying out mock migrations before the actual upload. This assists in identifying problems and measuring the amount of time required to extract and upload data.
  12. Ensure System Interface Compatibility: Make sure that the transferred data continues to match the requirements for the systems with which it will interact if your existing HR system is integrated with other systems. Check, for example, if the information on the payroll has not been altered.
  13. Communicate Cutover Schedule: It is important to provide transparent communication on the cutover timetable while moving from an older HR system to a new one. Make sure that everyone is aware of the potential downtime that may occur with the system and how it may effect them.

Best Practices for HR Data Migrations

As you move on with the process of HR data transfer, keep the following recommended practices in mind:

  1. Adhere to Legal Requirements: During the data migration process, ensure compliance with the rules that regulate the preservation of personnel records and privacy. Make sure that data from the past as well as data from the present are managed in line with the applicable laws.
  2. Collaborate with HR: Despite the participation of IT, HR should take an active part in the data transfer process. It is absolutely necessary for HR to have a solid grasp of HR operations and compliance in order for data transfer to go well.
  3. Secure Data Storage: Protect the data that was moved in accordance with the data retention and privacy requirements. It may be necessary to continue using the outdated system for some time to verify that no crucial data is lost in the transition.

Choosing a New HRIS System for Migration

Take into consideration the following measures while choosing a new HRIS platform for the migration:

  1. Select the New Platform: Select a new HRIS platform that fulfills the needs of your firm in order to get optimal results. Make use of the material and resources provided by the vendor in order to gain an understanding of the migration issues and needs.
  2. Set Migration Budget: Prepare a budget for the process of migration, including the expenses of any software and any prospective implementation assistance.
  3. Explore Data Migration Tools: Conduct an analysis of the data migration capabilities of the built-in tools offered by the HRIS platform. Consider using tools provided by a third party if you need extra resources.
  4. Decide Transfer Method: Determine the optimal way for the transport of data by weighing aspects such as cost, speed, and security against one another. Take into consideration the choices of the public internet, a private network, and physical transmission.
  5. Create a Migration Plan: Create a detailed strategy for the migration process that includes assigning responsibilities, establishing dates, and outlining duties in order to ensure a seamless migration.

Post-Migration Requirements Checklist

After you have migrated the HR data, continue with these steps:

  1. Update Integrations: Migrate integrations from your previous human resource information system (HRIS) to your new platform in order to ensure seamless operation with other applications and systems.
  2. Test the HRIS: Carry out exhaustive testing of the new HRIS to guarantee correct configuration and data transmission.
  3. Train Your Team: HR and the other members of the team need to be trained to use the new HRIS successfully.
  4. Initiate Rollout: Implement the new HRIS throughout the whole organization while maintaining open lines of communication with workers and providing them with detailed instructions.
  5. Gather Feedback: Collect input on the system from HR as well as end users so that improvements can be made and future enhancements may be planned.


It is necessary to carefully plan, coordinate, and carry out the migration to a new HRMS or HRIS software. You can effectively migrate your HR data while reducing interruptions and guaranteeing compliance if you follow the procedures indicated in this guide and adhere to best practices. This will allow you to successfully migrate your HR data. It is important to keep in mind that selecting a new HRIS platform is a serious decision that may have an influence on the HR procedures and efficiency of your firm for many years to come. The migration process has the potential to result in improved HR operations and enhanced overall performance if it is meticulously planned and approached in the appropriate manner.

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