Timing your HR Technologies: when is it appropriate to invest?

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Jessica Miller-Merrell, blogging4jobs

Technology is one of the most expensive aspects of business, yet is constantly changing. Because of its expensive nature, it can be difficult to keep up with not just the technology you’d like but in fact what could make a significant difference in your department, it’s hard to know when and how to invest. Invest too soon or in the wrong technology and you’ll waste a significant amount of money, but rest on past-its-prime technology and you could lose productivity and eventually, money.

Take a look at the vital questions you should be asking when considering an investment in new technology:

How much time are you losing by not investing in new technology?

Often the question arises of when to upgrade technology but there is never a formal evaluation of the time spent on current technology and the time that will be expended on the new technology. When it comes to HR, time is our greatest asset. We aren’t selling a product, per se, so the value of your department really lies in what you are able to accomplish for the organization. If you evaluate and realize that a new technology will save an amount of time that justifies the spending, it’s a no brainer. 

How long can you afford to use your current technology?

Aside from taking more of your department’s time, dated technology often has limitations that keep your team from doing all they would like, which can cause frustration, missed opportunities, wasted time and more. It’s important to not just consider the fact your system may feel dated or that the system you’re pursuing is more modern. Instead, focus on the functionality. What are you not able to do that a new technology would offer and what does that mean for your organization?

What timeframe makes sense for your company?

System conversions can be a significant project depending on the size of the company and the degree to which you utilize the technology, so it’s important to schedule the development and implementation of new technology at a time that makes sense. For instance, if your heaviest recruiting time tends to be in the spring, you may want to plan for a fall rollout. Additionally, consider how each stage of the process is going to affect your budget. For example, if signing a contract now requires half the payment, you’ll need to make sure the funds are in your budget now and that the rest will be designated to the technology at the appropriate date.

How will you prioritize your technology needs?

In any given HR department, you have technology for tracking applicants, processing payroll, planning compensation, managing training and more. Deciding when to upgrade these individual technologies is made even more difficult when you also must consider what other technology may need upgraded now or in the near future and how each system will operate in relation to another. Ultimately, it’s important to not get bogged down or confused by trying to do too much at once. Evaluate where the greatest need lies, what your budget will allow in the immediate future and prioritize accordingly.

Have you made significant technological upgrades in your HR departments? Tell us about the challenges and advantages of doing so in the comments section below. 


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