Who’s on First: Taking the Recruiting Technology Plunge

In my world, new connections often come with general conversations about new initiatives related to recruiting technologies. This year has been no different, except that I feel as though I’ve stepped into a time machine. Why? Simply put, vendor selection efforts are increasing again. This is good news for the recruiting technology market, but there are still roadblocks. As I participate in these discussions, it’s apparent that there’s still plenty to do internally before inviting vendors to be considered. 

As business leaders, one of our most pressing obligations is to ensure the right cross-functional team is in place to evaluate the needs of the business and align the technology and services accordingly. These teams often include business-functional resources, including recruiters, sourcing specialists, hiring managers as well as information technology to help manage the technical compatibility.

Far too often, a battle takes place to determine which team’s agenda is more important. While HR and talent acquisition know what they need from a functional perspective, IT can identify what will work for the business from a technical perspective. What determines the winner is who has more pull in the decision-making process and, ultimately, who is on first.

Rather than repeat this vicious cycle every time a new tech invention sweeps the market, organizations should embrace the importance of team work. To avoid fighting for different agendas, the process should start with defining the project resource roles and governance. Those organizations that build a partnership will find themselves working effectively and in unison toward that common goal.

Here are a few best practices in partnership to drive the vendor selection process forward before opening the call for vendors:

  • Who: Pick a cross-functional team. Your team will benefit from including business resources who will both use the system and know the business process from start to finish.
  • What: Identify the right HR/IT resources. These resources will know the organization’s technology standards and have a line of sight into the architecture of apps currently in use.
  • Why: Once identified, this team should align on the specific goals of the project: Will this recruiting technology be replacing an existing solution? Adding on new capabilities? Each option has a different set of operating guidelines, so document your intended outcome at the outset.
  • Because: For long-term success, it’s critical to define the escalation process, as well as know who is responsible for the final say in the decision-making process. Recognize and minimize any “hold outs” who might nod in agreement during the meeting but disagree after and derail the project. 

Next up: Staying on target and overcoming the project creep associated with the vendor selection process.