Over the last few years, HR technology has pushed the industry to new heights and organizations now leverage a myriad of modern tools to get the most out of their workforce – but it seems some HR professionals still face an up-hill battle when it comes to securing senior level buy-in.
“Unfortunately, many HR professionals do not have the experience or tools to express the value organizations would realize from implementing HR technology,” says Jennifer Bouyoukos, senior VP of HR at NexJ Systems.
According to Bouyoukos, one obstacle which often stands in the way of securing top-level investment is HR’s inability to show how technology can solve major organizational challenges and avoid costly problems down the road.
“Data is key here,” Bouyoukos tells HRM. “Show where the key bottlenecks are in measures like delays in hiring and productivity, add up the employee hours it takes to work collectively on one process, turn that number into dollars and show a cost savings. Then show the same scenario if you don’t do anything. The data creates a compelling argument.”
Another hurdle which often trips HR professionals up is the failure to secure internal sponsorship, says Bouyoukos – if others are on board, the CEO is more likely to see HR tech as a company-wide benefit, rather than just an improvement for one department.
“As the HR leader at an organization, you instinctively know when it’s time for technology – whether it’s moving manual processes towards modernization or introducing new ones,” says Bouyoukos. “What you don’t know, however, is whether others share your pain and see the same opportunities.”
In order to close that knowledge gap, Toronto-based Bouyoukos says HR professionals should be proactive and conduct some preliminary research.
“Get out there and talk to people,” she urges. “Understand how HR technology would alleviate pressures in the organization and who would benefit most. Describe to these groups what life would be life after HR technology and ask those senior executives to help champion it.”
Bouyoukos also says it’s important to remember that CEOs will have seen many tools come and go, start and fail, or become policed and made into a necessary evil.
“They worry whether the HR team has the necessary selection and change management
skills to ensure the right product was chosen and that users will adopt,” she tells HRM. “Collecting internal and external research to help present your decision will be critical.”
Jennifer Bouyoukos will be hosting a workshop on how HR can build a solid business case including showing ROI for technology at the upcoming HR Tech Summit in Toronto.
There, she will offer expert advice on how HR professionals can become valuable strategic advisors to top management and the CEO, including getting the buy-in for technology implementations.
More information for the event, which is scheduled for June 27, can be found online.