Don’t invest in HR tech before asking these questions

A leading HR advisor says organizations should never adopt new tech without asking their vendor two very important questions.

Don’t invest in HR tech before asking these questions

A leading HR advisor says industry professionals should never adopt new tech without asking their potential vendor two very important questions.

“The HR folks need to ask their vendors two things they usually forget,” says Ward Christman, founder of HR Tech Advisor. “One is; who are your partners and how do you work with them?”

Christman, who’s been in the HR tech advisory space for more than 25 years, says some of the major tech vendors bring together hundreds or even thousands of partners – but they’re often unable to communicate with each other which can cause a headache for HR.

“That means the consumers are still trying to piece together their own solutions and what happens when those solutions don’t talk to each other and information doesn’t pass over easily?” he asks. “One – if not all – of the vendors gets blamed and the HR team stops using them and the vendor eventually loses a customer.”

The second important question to ask, according to Christman, is what the vendor’s position is on connecting into the rest of the ecosystem.

“If their vendors don’t play nice in the sandbox with the other vendors, it’s not going to help the HR practitioner get the results they want because it takes multiple solutions to solve a problem,” he tells HRM.

While more tech vendors are realizing the importance of collaboration – and even coopetition – Christman says there will only be major change if industry professionals demand it.

“The consumer, the buyers are often insulated from this but they need to have more awareness and they need be saying; ‘Wait a minute, we need more standards here so we can get more interoperability and more collaboration between our vendors so that these tools work together instead of independently.’

“That’s where I see a big change coming,” continues Christman, “easier alliances, easier partnerships between the members and better connectivity between them.”

Christman says the number one reason why HR professionals change their technology is because the data is not flowing between the different systems and they want better connectivity between providers.

“Ironically, if that’s the number one reason why they change providers, why aren’t they asking more often, why aren’t they asking every time?”


The upcoming HR Tech Summit features more than 20 informative sessions geared towards helping senior HR professionals get the most from their digital solutions.

Presentations include: The New Employee Experience in a Digital World, Using Big Data and Analytics in a Truly Strategic Way, Design Thinking for HR Professionals, and the Role of Technology in Redefining Performance Management.

More information about the Toronto event – which is due to take place later this month – can be found online.

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