Staffing technology solutions often promise to do many things, but they don’t always deliver the exact solution initially envisioned. Problems arise when companies expect a solution to deliver more than they were originally scoped to provide. The fact is, aligning the technology promise to real-world processes and applications can be beyond painful.
There are two approaches that companies often take when they find themselves in this situation. First, they may try to customize the solution with the hope that a re-engineered version will be a better fit. Alternatively, they may start to add on best-of-breed applications, with the goal of achieving the powerful capabilities originally expected.
In the first case, costs often become inflated beyond what is affordable. In the latter, it’s possible that add-ons may not play well with the other tools in the company’s tech stack.
How does one avoid the massive disappointment caused by missed expectations? We offer three pointers to help align your technology to what you anticipate it will do for the organization.
Understand Product Limitations
From an early age, we’ve all felt the letdown of products that fell short of expectations. Despite what you may have seen on TV, toy trucks couldn’t always roar uphill and toy rockets couldn’t really reach the moon. As an adult, you may have toured model homes that showcased designer dreams or test drove cars loaded with high-end features that would never fit your wallet.
It is no different in business.
Like one-size-fits-all clothing, technology is designed to fit most, but no business solution will ever fit all. The enhanced features and functionality that make a solution so attractive may be considered extras that are available at a premium price. It may also be that those advanced capabilities seen in the demo will not actually be available until phase two or phase three. Caveat emptor.
Disappointment in the past does not mean that reality will always fall short of expectations. Here’s how to avoid disappointment:
- Prepare your list of needs and wants. Go in armed and ask specific questions so that you fully understand what the staffing technology solution you purchase can — and cannot — do.
- Be aware that most solutions can be customized to meet your exact specifications. That customization can be costly, however, so be sure your needs are prioritized.
- Be open to configuration as an alternative to customization. This allows you to shape the basic solution to the specific needs of your organization, without re-engineering it.
Replace Buyer Beware with Buyer Be Wise
Most technology purchase decisions are made after an evaluation of multiple factors. Quality and price are givens. Then there is fit for use, data transfer requirements, implementation specifics, adaptability, support, etc. Despite comprehensive reviews, there are a few important elements that purchasers often neglect to fully consider, yet they may become the source of the biggest challenges.
Don’t forget to check the following.
What will happen to the company’s legacy solutions? Can they be completely sunsetted or will you need to maintain some limited access for a specified period of time? Without a plan for what you need to keep, how you will sustain its use, and for how long, you can end up with miscellaneous odds and ends that not only clutter up your technology balance sheet but may someday be the source of serious breakdowns.
Prepare your legacy strategy to avoid broken links and security vulnerabilities.
One of the biggest headaches for CIOs in staffing companies is tech stack inventory management. It has nothing to do with how many laptops or smart devices are in use around the company, but instead, how many software applications exist.
Some of this software is company-sanctioned but out of date. Other applications are user-generated. Keeping track may be a chore, but it becomes especially important when major change is introduced in the form of new enterprise technology. Ensure that any new technology solution cannot be derailed by a rogue connection or sketchy workaround. Don’t wait for that call for help to uncover an obscure app that was never accounted for during implementation.
Ease of Use
Finally, it is critical to know if the preferred solution is truly “out-of-the-box” ready, or whether users will require training. Test it in multiple scenarios with different types of users to minimize surprises. Give consideration not only to the initial training of your team but also to how you will handle training for new employees in the future.
Matching Expectations to Reality
Staffing businesses that are primed for growth need technology solutions that offer the power to operationalize new business opportunities. They also require the flexibility to adapt and pivot as market conditions shift, and they must have the scalability to support growth. Enterprise software specifically designed for staffing and recruiting businesses must meet these expectations.
Look for solutions that can be configured in ways that allow you to leverage best practices developed by the pioneers in enterprise staffing technology. Earlier generations of staffing technology solutions required substantial customization. Today’s solutions, however, are designed to work for most businesses with minimal adjustment. No longer custom-built from the ground up, they are developed on powerful platforms that allow you to take advantage of world-class reliability, security and scalability.
When you select a solution that offers flexibility for the future, you can expect a technology reality that truly satisfies.
Andy is the President of TargetRecruit and joined the company in 2018. He is a B2B marketing, sales and product management executive with over 20 years of enterprise SaaS experience. His primary focus is in product strategy, marketing and sales with extensive experience in services including customer success, education and implementation.
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