Interviewing an ERP Solutions Expert? Ask These 4 Questions

By Robert Half August 14, 2015 at 3:00pm

Deploying and maintaining enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions requires specialized skills. So, when interviewing ERP experts for your business, it’s essential to confirm a potential hire has the right abilities and level of experience you seek.

These four questions can help you determine whether a candidate is qualified.

1. Describe the rollout process.

Rolling out an ERP package is a challenging job. Candidates for technical ERP roles do not need to describe every fine detail of a rollout in the interview, but they should be able to provide an overview of how a system is deployed.

Candidates also should have a good understanding of the risks involved in an ERP project. Experience with ERP system upgrades is also very important, since they can be challenging to execute successfully.

2. What strategies can be used to create a test environment?

Working within a test environment that is based on production data and scrubbed of sensitive information is critical to an ERP project. There is no way to test your ERP system properly without using real-world data.

An ERP solutions expert will know how to create a test environment and recreate it a number of times over the course of an ERP project. You should also ask candidates how they perform their testing, in terms of the tools and techniques they typically apply.

3. What integrations have you performed?

A skilled ERP solutions expert will have worked on a number of in-depth integration projects. The candidate therefore should be able to describe the challenges of these projects — and how to overcome them.

Look for ERP professionals who have deep enough experience that they can explain which tools and methods fit various scenarios.

4. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this ERP package?

An ERP solutions expert who has been around a particular package for considerable time will be able to point out the good, the bad and the ugly about that system. (A candidate who says nothing but good things about an ERP solution has probably not been working with it for very long.)

If the potential hire cannot find anything positive to say about the ERP system you use, steer clear. This is someone who will not like working with your system, and could end up being a costly bad hire.

Top-flight candidates not only will be aware of the ins and outs of the ERP package they have been working with, they also will know how it stacks up to other leading systems.

Candidates with experience with more than one leading ERP solution may also have additional insights that can benefit your ERP projects.

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