How to Win Over Your People Before Implementing New Recruiting Software


shutterstock_444269305Fist Bump Colleagues Collaboration Teamwork ConceptHow many recruiters have been given a new recruiting system and not used it We know. That never happens, right? According to Bersin’s HR Technology 2020 report, more than you think. Their research shows many companies still aren’t succeeding at HR technology implementation, and 42% were rated as not fully successful or failed after 2 years 

While implementations can fail for many reasons – one of the biggest is lack of organizational readiness. Our new Guide to Successful Organizational Readiness and Change Management details what you can learn from other organizations’ change management mistakes.

In this blog, we focus on one of the biggest must-haves for success: getting buy-in from your people.

Technology Isn’t the Only Star

It’s a huge loss of time, money, and morale when a software implementation goes south. The new technology itself can only take you so far. At the end of the day, how ready your organization is to embrace the new tech and process, which is how we define organizational readiness, is just as important as the technology itself in determining success. It is an interconnected relationship between several factors:

  1. People

  2. Processes

  3. Systems

  4. Performance measurement

Of all these elements, it’s your own people that might present the largest roadblock — if you don’t win them over first. As a recent Wall Street Journal article points out, adapting to new technology has become essential in most jobs, but it can also spark fear. In the worst cases, employee resistance has led to firings and internal strife. But handled the right way, the process of changing to a new solution is an awesome opportunity to build excitement and comradery.

Why Do People Act This Way?

Certainly, there is psychology behind why people resist change.

In some cases, staff may fear making a mistake with the new technology, or don’t feel tech-savvy enough. The old system is comfortable and safe. Others may feel their work demands don’t give them the time to learn the system and properly transition. Still, others may drag their heels because they weren’t involved in the process of choosing the new technology. After all, they may understand existing limitations and needs better than anyone. Why weren’t they asked to weigh in?

The key message is get to know how your team, from the future users and your executives, feels before you choose a new system.

An Opportunity for Strategic Leadership

Winning over internal stakeholders requires their involvement in the process of choosing and launching the new technology. It requires active listening, transparency, and collaboration from leadership to engage them, and make them feel heard. Here are some intentional actions you should take to do just that:

  • Identify Your Key Internal Stakeholders

Identify those employees and groups who are directly and indirectly affected by this technology change. Some questions to ask yourself: Who are the end-users? Which employees have a vested interest? Who can make or break this effort? Which individuals are influencers?

Also, who could be champions during the rollout? Identify representatives who are interested in becoming more closely involved in the process, who can represent their team, and help bring positive change when needed.

  • Get Internal Stakeholder Buy-in

Once identified, involve these key internal stakeholders often and deliberately from the beginning to the end of the project. Listen to them and respect their needs and ideas. Encourage them to become champions and trainers for the technology when you go live. They should become your co-creators.

Show all stakeholders how the new technology will make their lives easier and why it’s important; and create a shared ownership for its success. 

  • Have a Plan for Clear and Open Communication

Hold regular Joint Application Development (JAD) sessions throughout the process with project leaders and key stakeholders. Use these meetings to gather important stakeholder input, feedback, and consensus. Identify a facilitator to keep the meeting on track, manage personalities, ensure your action items are met, and encourage participation. Then, document the discussions and distribute outcomes and next steps so everyone is on the same page. The goal of this process is to involve stakeholders in the decision-making and create a feeling of teamwork. You want to cut down on surprises as much as you can.

  • Targeted Teaching and Trainers

People learn in different ways, so be prepared with a few methods for training and communicating the new technology to stakeholders. In a corporate environment where integration without interruption is the goal, you must be prepared with hands-on training, easy-to-understand materials, and a multi-pronged approach over time. This includes a feedback loop to gauge how things are going, both private and public channels for feedback. Don’t just hand them the manual and expect success. It will most likely be an iterative process. 

As you consider new recruiting technology, it’s important to learn from others’ mistakes. You can have the best technology and the best process, but if your employees aren’t ready to embrace it – none of that matters.

If you have questions about implementing new recruitment technologies, we have answers. Reach out to us today.



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