6 Questions to Ask Before Investing in HR Tech in 2021

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There have been amazing strides in the HR tech industry in the last decade, and now you can find innovative solutions for everything from job advertising to candidate relationship management. The entire HR tech sector is worth about £309 billion worldwide and now that hiring is almost completely virtual, leadership is motivated to invest.

You're probably reading this because you’ve won budget for a new piece of HR tech, congratulations! This is an exciting time and tech can truly transform your processes, but first you have to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It’s important to engage with internal stakeholders to vet potential vendors in order to ensure the best possible return on investment (ROI). 

To help you with this process, we compiled a list of questions that you should answer before diving in.

6 Questions You Need to Answer before Implementing New HR Tech

1. Who are your stakeholders?

The great and challenging part of working in Talent Acquisition and HR is that your work impacts the rest of the company, from hiring managers and candidates, to business intelligence and IT. In order to get the best results from your technology, you’ll want to identify and involve key stakeholders early on in the process. Be sure to listen to their feedback and communicate how the technology will benefit them.

  • IT: Your friends in tech are one of your most important partners for tech implementation as they will be assisting and facilitating this process. Before you sign the dotted line with a vendor make sure to check that it's compatible with your current network of technologies, nothing is worse than spending money on a new tool only to find it causes too many workarounds to be helpful.
  • Business Intelligence/Legal: This department can help you evaluate the compliance and data security standards of your desired vendor. This is critical to the success of the technology within your company.
  • Leadership: Your C-suite and leadership team will likely need to give the go-ahead for investment in HR Tech, be sure to align with them on long term business goals so you can make sure the results you expect from this new tech can show ROI in business-critical areas.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Officer: Many companies now have a role to define and make progress towards diversity and inclusion goals. In many cases, HR Tech can be a way of making strides in this arena (even in unexpected ways) so be sure to align with your diversity and inclusion officer as equity should be part of all your processes, not something added on later.
  • Key Hiring Managers: If you have certain departments like Sales that are consistently hiring, then you may want to get input from those hiring managers. You’ll want them to be on board for using the technology you select and the more involved they are in the decision-making process, the more likely they are to be an evangelist for adoption.
  • Recent Hires: While recent hires will not dictate what you buy, they can give you valuable insight into the ins and outs of your hiring process from a candidate perspective. You can use their feedback to bolster your argument for selecting a certain tool.

2. What are your compliance needs?

The average business data breach involves at least 24,000 records, costs $3.6 million and takes almost a year to contain according to Ponemon Institute. That’s not something you want your company to experience. In order to uphold your data security standards, you’ll want to partner with your Business Intelligence department to vet your vendors.

In addition to data security, anti-discrimination protocols are key to compliance, this could be an element to consider with your diversity and inclusion officer. They can help you ascertain whether the vendor can support your fairness standards. 

Compliance in both areas (data security and anti-discrimination) are a matter of legal necessity. Check with your legal team to ensure you are following all applicable laws and regulations.

3. Is this tech tool compatible with your business?

When it comes to business compatibility, IT will be a crucial partner. As we discussed before, you must ascertain the integration compatibility of the tool with your current systems including HRIS and ATS.

Your tech team can also give you insight into how tech-savvy your company is in general. This will be important to know because the tool will not be used if it’s too advanced or hard to learn for your users. Define who your main user will be and talk to those people to understand their capabilities and needs.

4. What is the implementation timeline?

You need to understand the implementation process and timeline in detail before you start. This will help you manage expectations and keep all stakeholders on track. Your stakeholders may need to build time into their calendars in order to support the process so try to ascertain the level of support needed (and when) as soon as possible.

Define with your stakeholders (including your vendor)  if there are any preparation activities you need to complete before implementation actually begins whether it’s data gathering or system updates. Then you can get started with your rollout, perhaps you want to implement the tech all at once or test with a smaller team first.

5. Do I know my vendor?

It’s never good to assume anything about your vendor, from compliance to customer service, you want to check and double-check everything. If you are planning on having a high level of support when it comes to implementation or onboarding only to find that you’re on your own. This will cause delays and confusion.

Important questions to ask your vendor…

  • Ask to see their NPS (net promoter score) to see if their other customers are satisfied. You can also look up reviews on third-party feedback platforms to see what the real customer experience is like. 
  • Ask to see their product roadmap to see if what they’re working on aligns with your use of their system and speaks to your business needs.
  • Ask what their customer service looks like, is it by phone, chat, or email? And does it cost extra to receive live service?
  • Beyond implementation, ask if they support user onboarding? Do they host training or webinars and if so do they cost extra?

6. What will success look like?

It's a funny question, because it almost seems too obvious to ask but you would be surprised how different the stakeholder answers could be, even form the same team. One recruiter may expect time savings while another thinks diverse pipelines are the goal. Now there’s nothing to say that there can’t be more than one impact, however you want to define your expectations and run them by the vendor to see if they are likely or possible with this tool and how long it will take to see ROI.

Here are some questions to answer with your vendor and stakeholders…

  • Will we see financial or time-saving gains from this tool?
  • What impact will this tool have on our overall business goals?
  • How long will it take to see ROI from this tool?
  • Will this tool generate data we can use in other parts of the business?
  • Will we see diversity and inclusion gains from this tool?
  • Will we see employee engagement gains from this tool?
  • How will we measure success? (User-adoption, lower team costs, time saved, etc)

Closing Thoughts: Think Beyond Today’s Needs

Everyone has been in the position of inheriting legacy tech that doesn’t work for today’s needs. Even in unforeseen circumstances like the pandemic, the trends we saw accelerated like remote work were already on the horizon. It’s important to engage with industry thought leaders to get an idea of what's around the corner so you can implement tech with longevity. We are always open to guiding you through the process and/or helping you with the implementation and adoption of background screening technology. Simply pop us an email here. Or download our guide to remote hiring here.

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