In the old days, when team principals tried to take corporate recruiters from legacy hiring systems and processes to new software-based integrated hiring systems, the culture shift was so great that it met with resistance from staff.
However, with social media, smartphones, and other smart technologies (figuratively) coming out of their ears, the modern corporate recruiter is almost as wired as Neo and Trinity from “The Matrix.”
Rampant IT consumerism has groomed many of us into innovating, early-adopting technology super users, and hiring-team managers can hope to benefit from the technophile status of their staff, particularly when they introduce new software to their corporate recruiting teams. But despite the average person’s comfort with technology in their personal life, it seems that employers are still having problems getting staff to adopt new software systems.
Observations from the Harvard Business Review blog as recently as September 2014 cite anecdotal evidence of multimillion-dollar software implementations that aren’t really meeting expectations. The article talks of shiny new technology systems which are used only superficially as many people stick to their old ways of working and their legacy systems and processes.
Given that newly deployed software applications still face challenges in being adopted effectively even in this day and age, I thought I would offer some tips on how to encourage corporate recruiting teams to more fully adopt new hiring softwares and systems:
1. Choose a User-Friendly System
Don’t take this for granted. These days, most hiring software systems look good and seem easy to use on a superficial level, but you must consider how easy it is to carry out business process, like posting job advertisements or scheduling interviews, on the new system when compared to the old system.
If the new system is incrementally harder to use than the legacy system, people really won’t see the sense in migrating, and you’ll be hard pressed to get them to adopt. On the other hand, if the new system makes their lives easier, people will be more eager to adopt.
2. Choose an Adaptive and Reactive System
What I mean by this is that you should choose a system that is being constantly modified, a system whose proprietors listen to and implement user feedback on an ongoing basis.
The best systems will have some kind of suggestion box/voting system where users can write in feedback and request improvements, with the most popular ones being implemented by the vendor. These systems should also be able to show you a timeline of ongoing refinements. I’d expect a least four big improvements/enhancements a year.
Your users will feel empowered if they see that they can directly modify the system and adapt it to their practice. It’s crucial to get an adaptive and reactive suite that evolves to meet the changing needs of users if you want full and sustained adoption.
3. Constantly Outline and Illustrate the Positive Benefits
Studies show that there is a general tendency in people to remember negative events over positive ones. In terms of hiring software, this could mean that reluctant users will focus on the drawbacks of the hiring system — i.e., what it can’t do — rather than the benefits. This is why you’ll need to explicitly show them that the system benefits outnumber the drawbacks in order to gain stakeholder buy-in.
4. Focus on Stakeholder Engagement
This is an oldie, but a goodie. Don’t just focus on pleasing the recruiting team: focus on pleasing all the system users, be they line managers, finance managers, or marketing staff. Will the system reporting make it much easier for finance and marketing staff to get financial hiring data? How will it make line managers’ live’s easier? If you please all the stakeholders, you will create a huge amount of momentum, which should increase your adoption rate.
If you found these tips helpful, please check out part two!