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Seven key questions for HR tech investment success

By Derek Smith


With an ever-growing HR tech landscape, it can be difficult to identify the platforms that will work for you and help you meet business goals.

From recruitment software that helps select qualified candidates, to time and attendance programs that simplify payroll and reference checking software that automates a crucial step in the hiring process, there’s no shortage of tech-based solutions for all of your HR issues.

To help you find the right solutions, there are seven key questions that HR professionals should ask of a platform before investing.

Is it business critical?

The technology world is full of nice-to-haves, but only a precious few must-haves. When examining a product offering, determine whether it would have a significant positive impact on your day-to-day. For example, will it make you more efficient and effective at your job? Will it eliminate mundane and time-consuming tasks? If so, you should consider incorporating it into your business.

Is it enterprise ready?

Even the most innovative technology solutions are useless unless they pass the stringent legal, technical and commercial requests placed on them by big business. Of utmost importance is data – its storage, protection and security. This is particularly concerning to HR professionals considering the volume of personal information you have access to.

 Can it be deployed within 24 hours?

A lengthy implementation plan will distract from your everyday responsibilities and leave you with a poor first impression of what could otherwise be a solid product. The world works in real-time and you shouldn’t have to endure a complex and lengthy set-up before reaping the benefits of the platform.

 Can it offer significant ROI?

Budgets only seem to be getting tighter and the C-suite will always question the allocation of funds towards new services. HR technologies with a proven track record of success are more likely to be approved, particularly if they demonstrate value not only to the department but to the broader business. In determining ROI, don’t forget to factor in the time and effort that goes into managing the technology – for example, if it requires substantial resources, you’ll have to decide whether the end result makes it worthwhile.

 Can it integrate with other systems?

Any business that tries to be a jack-of-all-trades will never be the best at any one thing. The business that gets its offering right and then partners with the best in other fields to provide unparalleled service, experience and return, is the future model for success. You may be in the market for only one technology at this point, but that may change – and it will be a lot easier to add to your existing suite if that initial product can be integrated with others.

 Can the solution scale with
 your business?

Start small, grow big. Wise HR leaders and recruiters look for a progressive consumption model where they test and learn from deployment in a pilot, then move to a larger, contained application before rolling it out across all facets of the business. It’s a prudent strategy because any roadblocks or incompatibilities are flagged early before they become problematic. You must ensure your elected vendor has the resources to provide this staged support and to quickly fix any problems at whatever phase they occur.

 Who owns it?

Enterprise-level technology implementations are multi-year investments, so stability of ownership is critical. Some startups will have attractive and innovative offerings but cannot offer stability. Are their investors looking for a quick exit? Is their funding viable? Where will they be in three or five years? A public entity, with accessible records, tenure, governance and regulatory control may be a safer partner in the long run.

Derek Smith is the general manager for Xref North America.




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