Dos and Don’ts for Buying HR Software

The HR technology space is a crowded one and with that, the options seem endless and sometimes overwhelming.

I want to disrupt the way many people go about selecting business software, and more specifically applicant tracking systems. I want to show people a way to choose, maintain and optimize their software investment by thinking of new ways to understand the process from start to post-purchase. In the many years I’ve worked with clients and prospects, I’ve learned a great deal from them about buying habits, including misconceived perceptions that lead them down the wrong path.

Software ownership is not easy when you start off with a poorly structured strategy, so getting off on the right foot prior to the buying process and being able to successfully carry this strategy through post-purchase, will garner you results much more in-line with your actual business requirements.

What is too commonly practiced is that people start out believing they need to divest themselves of their current system and purchase a new one, and the interesting part is they probably don’t have a business case to do so. This belief is usually the result of one or more of the following factors:

  • Poor communication between the end-user business and the software provider.
  • A lack of understanding about the software they currently have (moreover, this problem most likely began on day one of the purchase).
  • New management’s desire to change providers because of a past relationship with another provider.
  • The lack of a business needs (gap) analysis.

Of all the factors listed, lack of a needs analysis is the most critical and the most difficult, because it’s the foundation upon which well-thought-out considerations and decisions should be made. Important business decisions should always be solidly grounded in facts and evidence rather than supposition. Each company needs to understand how their processes, culture, location, hiring needs and environment is unique to them and use this knowledge to critically evaluate software to fit their business goals.

When it comes to considerations and decisions, it’s important to look at things that require taking a deeper dive into the workings of the software provider. This action does not mean sending in a standard RFP to a laundry list of vendors (some of which that will not be qualified) and asking them questions that they’ve answered hundreds of times for other companies. Some vendors will basically “copy” their answers from previous RFPs and send you generic responses. This is not helpful and will not get you the information you need. Understanding the value a new system will bring to your unique business and how it will solve your unique problems, is much more important than having a standardized checklist of questions that may not be pertinent to what you need and ultimately not serve you well in the end.

I’ve been in the HR tech space for over 30 years and have had many conversations with people about buying software they want and what they believe they need. These two mindsets are often incongruous because people rarely take the steps necessary to understand their buying situation and subsequently, what software functionality is the correct one for their unique business. To that end, I’ve written a business guide that offers a guideline for you to follow before, during and after your software purchase. Though the guide is written about applicant tracking software, the fundamentals in the guide apply to any software purchase. The guide will help you stay on track to better understand and evaluate your current and future software needs.

You can pick up your copy here.

This is a SmartSearch sponsored post.