Buying HRTech (or WorkTech, PeopleTech, TATech…whatever you want to call it) can be very difficult. There are many vendors, internal stakeholders, and general pitfalls that you have to look out for. After more than a decade working in software, we thought it was time to help people buy the right tools faster while avoiding all the bad stuff.
Any business leader has to be able to select and implement the right tools to help them accomplish their personal and organizational goals. This is no doubt also true of the HR world.
This page is dedicated to the process of buying any type of HR software. It encompasses all of the best nuggets we’ve learned, and continue to learn as we talk to hundreds of HR practitioners, vendors, and everyone else under the sun.
The goal of this page is to be a comprehensive listing of the best tactics you need throughout the process of buying new HRTech. We’ve put together a series of videos you’ll find throughout this post for those who are more visual/auditory learners.
Goal: Define the pain you’re going to address, along with how it will impact the business in terms your CFO would appreciate.
Why are you going to spend the time, money, and social capital to buy a particular piece of software or tool? This is the business case.
For example, in our organization we may want to work on a broad problem such as an under-optimized culture. Or, we may have a specific problem such as the number of hours recruiters are spending on phone screens for entry level candidates.
A new tool or technology should always be accompanied by a business case which answers the essential question of why this tool is important to the organization, and the value it will deliver.
Goal: Make better decisions while getting the buy in from the relevant parts of the organization to make buying and implementing your solution that much easier.
Gaining consensus from the rest of the organization is key to any successful initiative. The ultimate goal here is to get the organization to “pull” the solution, as opposed to you pushing it on them.
In addition, the perspective of other smart business leaders in the organization can provide valuable insights into how you can solve the pain point you are addressing.
Goal: Develop a list of 5-7 vendors to look at to solve the problem you originally put together in step one.
Vendor discovery can be proactive when looking for a specific category of tool. Vendor discovery can also happen through recommendations, conferences, cold outreach from sales people, etc.
When you’re looking at adding a new tool, here’s our advice on how to build a target list of vendors to do demos with.
Here are our tips on how to do vendor discovery when you’re not searching for a specific need:
Goal: Keep relevant notes on vendors that you can reference at the right time.
We all lose track of useful information. Life is just too busy, and we have too many priorities. Staying organized is essential in picking the right solution and streamlining the process of vendor selection.
Goal: Whittle your list down before you do a demo so that you don’t spend hours on the phone with the wrong vendors.
You have a job to do, and it’s probably not to buy new WorkTech. You are probably also fighting fires all day long. Bottom line, time is important.
Don’t spend time on demos with vendors that aren’t going to meet your needs. Instead, use a few tricks to qualify them digitally.
Goal: Whittle down your list to your final 1-2 vendors that you want to partner with.
Obviously, the best way to figure out whether or not a solution will be valuable to your company is to see a demo from a sales person and get all of your burning questions answered.
Goal: Ensure that everything is in place internally to move forward with buying this new HR tool/solution.
Clearly, we don’t want any roadblocks when we are ready to select a vendor and move forward. It’s important to ensure all key stakeholders are on the same page and ready to move forward.
This part of the software buying process obviously varies a lot from organization to organization, and from tool to tool.
Goal: Get the best price and terms you can without delaying the buying process too severely.
Clearly, we want to get the best price for whatever we are buying. We also want to understand key terms that may impact our relationship with this vendor around how a contract can be cancelled, data sharing, data security, and the other important points that you internal stakeholders care about.
Final Vendor Vetting
Goal: Select one vendor to move forward with.
This is it, the end of the line with buying your new HRtech. You’ve got internal buy in, you’ve done your homework on the space, and now you’re down to one vendor. It’s time for some confirmatory due diligence.
Goal: Understand and communicate the value that your new HR software has brought to the organization.
You’ve bought your software. You’ve gone through implementation. Now, people are using it, and you can see whether or not the assumptions you’d originally laid out in your ROI model are correct or not.
This is an amazing time to learn, as well as gain credibility in the organization (even if the project was a failure).
Looking back at our process and outcomes allows us to be better managers, buyers of software, and colleagues. The focus of this part of the software buying process should be on learning.
There you have it, our process and best practices around buying new HRTech, WorkTech, TATech, HR Software…or whatever you want to call it.
Our hope is that you can use this as a reference document as you move through the buying process. We also hope you’ll learn new best practices along the way and share them with us so that this can be as comprehensive as possible as the world evolves.
This article was originally published on the SelectSoftware Reviews blog. To read the original post, visit here.