The Business Case for Recruiting Technology

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business person holding a briefcaseIn any industry, when there is rapid development and consumerization of technology, there comes a time when a lot of folks start feeling left behind. Not only is HR Technology growing in stature throughout the organization, it’s growing in prestige. Now, don’t laugh, but I believe that recruiters are directly responsible for this, creating innovative hacks in software designed for entirely different purposes (cough cough *Facebook* cough).

So when do recruiters get to start calling the shots when it comes to what kind of technology they want to buy? Are you anxiously waiting for budget approval for the next applicant tracking system or wondering when you’ll get to rev up your social recruiting platform? Tired of coming home from conferences empty-handed, just wishing you could get your hands on some sweet analytics?

To finally be the team with the new toys (side-eye at you MARKETING), you have to learn how to get the boss to spend some dough. And whether it’s the CEO of a small staffing firm or the VP of HR at your Fortune 500 company, there are a few things that most bosses have in common. Here’s how to sell recruiting tech inside your organization:

1. Don’t ask for the bright and shiny without doing your homework. If you are constantly coming up with new ways to “spend” your imaginary budget and edgy ideas to try, don’t expect to get taken very seriously. Wanna know why your boss has you working in Excel? Because she doesn’t trust you to stick with anything else long enough to pay off the learning curve. Decide what your goals are for the next three years and find a system that will help you accomplish those goals.

2. Don’t let the software dictate the plan. That’s bass-ackwards for any business process, but especially HR. If you know that you need to increase your social presence over the next 18 months to ensure that you establish a talent pipeline in your geographic area, then make sure that you immediately implement the social measures you CAN and start shopping for a system that will integrate with the other processes and priorities in your plan. Finding something that looks like the recruiting tech equivalent of a swiss army knife and expecting it to solve all your problems is…not a grown up decision.

3. Find a way to save them money. There will always be an outlay of spend when purchasing a new system, whether in training, man power, or cold hard cash. But in finding smaller systems that automate the right processes (you know, the ones that you’ve been doing pretty much since you graduated from college?) will for sure save your company money, because you won’t be spending half your day doing these things and neither will your colleagues. Do some fast math to find out what that’s worth to your company and show your boss. 

4. Don’t just change the tool, change the process. Sure you’re buying a new CRM to house your data, but have you looked long and hard about the data practices currently in place? If they are worn-out, not followed and don’t take current best practices into account, give them an overhaul. Show your boss that whether they make the spend on tech or not, you give company data and your team’s process priority. Collect and clean your data, THEN complement it with a shiny new system.

5. Be the change. No seriously, be the change you want to see in your department. Asking for a new system to make your life easier is one thing but being the go-to professional for vendor screening, training, demos, implementations, budgeting, service calls, questions, customization and more? That takes guts. Offering yourself up on a silver platter shows you’ve got skin in the game and are willing to take on the responsibility for everything that a new system entails.

Getting your foot in the door with the executive team is the final step, once you’ve:

  • Done your homework.
  • Created a plan.
  • Proved the ROI.
  • Overhauled the process.


  • Volunteered to oversee the change.

You’d be very hard to say no to.

By Maren Hogan