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Investing In HR Tech? Here's What To Evaluate

Adopting a new HR technology? Just plug it in and call tech support, right? Not quite. Before purchasing sophisticated HR systems for your team, you need to understand what you're really buying—and buying into. Investment in HR tech can help an organization grow, but only if you buy the right kind of tech that supports your organizational goals.

Shelf Life

Tech continually evolves and advances. When you invest in tech, you want to choose a provider that will continue to evolve and advance their offerings as new developments unfold—you don’t want to invest in the latest tech trend, only to see that fall by the wayside after the hype dies down. While you do need to regularly update your tech, you don’t need to overhaul your systems every quarter or waste money on a service that will become obsolete by next year. The key is finding HR systems that update their services regularly. Ideally, your tech service will be on top of the latest trends so you don’t have to be.

Staying Power

Another key consideration when researching tech is its immediate value and its market presence. Invest in tech that has already been market-tested, so you know that it will be valuable to your organization over the long haul. For example, job ad tech platforms have grown in popularity and can demonstrate their value to HR teams in their sheer efficiency and cost-saving measures. But last July, several major acquisitions of job ad tech platforms by companies like Indeed demonstrated their clear staying power in the marketplace. If industry heavyweights are investing in it, the tech must be more than a passing trend.

Replacing vs. Layering Tech

How much do you want to change your current processes? Buying new tech can often be a commitment to a new, streamlined way of doing something. If you completely overhaul your tech suite, you better make sure it is user-friendly and won’t be too painful to implement. If, on the other hand, you are committed to your current tech and processes, then you need to evaluate how the new tech can layer on to the old tech, and what tech will enhance performance and fit well in your tech stack. Tech providers with robust application program interfaces (APIs) will allow the new HR systems to communicate with your old tech—just don't forget to make sure they're compatible.

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Cybersecurity

Your data is one of your most important resources. Technologies can leverage your data to optimize your hiring process, and when you invest in a new technology you are entrusting your data to the service provider. Research the company’s data security policies and its history to assess the safety of your data in its hands. How does the company handle secure information? Does it incorporate password protections? Security audits? Cyber insurance protections? A data hack puts your organization at risk and reflects poorly on you (not just your tech provider).

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Brand, Culture, and Ethos

Investing in new HR systems means entering into a relationship with another company. Sometimes, but not always, the new tech (and the company that makes it) may reflect on your business—for better or worse. Make sure you research the company and understand their brand so you can determine if the pairing will be a good fit.

Beyond the company brand, there are practical concerns when implementing new HR systems and how it fits into your organization. How well will this tech support your organizational priorities? What does the tech itself say about your priorities? How well will the new tech align with your workplace culture? For example, if you highly value employee engagement, consider investing in tech that has engagement built into its processes.

The right tool will also be the right fit for your organization, so don't rush into a new tech relationship on a whim. Take the time to do your homework—it'll pay off in the long run and make your job, and the jobs of your staff, more efficient and productive.

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