How to sell a HRIS to a CEO
In the business world, many strategic and technological changes are set by a CEO and other senior management professionals. These are the parties who understand the budget restraints and have the ability to pick and choose what an enterprise invests in.
However, there are times when change must be led by individual departments. Take HR, for example. On a daily basis, executives are using various systems, tools, databases and software to undertake a number of processes including payroll, recruitment, performance management and leadership development. If these platforms are not up to standard, the entire business can suffer – without the knowledge of the CEO.
In fact, even if the CEO and senior management understand the concerns around these HR systems, he or she may not be convinced that newer technology can help.
So, with this in mind, how can HR departments sell robust and detailed HRIS to a CEO?
1) Talk about the bottom line
At the end of the day, most (if not all) CEOs want a positive return on investment. As these executives are answerable to key stakeholders and other individuals, many decisions are often based around how financially advantageous an investment is. Of course, selling HRIS based on the claim of ‘saving money’ is just the tip of the iceberg.
Consider the productivity benefits of removing data entry errors or allowing individual employees to complete their own HR processes. In the busy business environment, CEOs and senior management executives want the tangible financial benefits of investing in HRIS. As such, the more robust your argument is around what productivity and time savings mean to the bottom line, the more chance you will have to capture the imagination of any CEO.
2) Seek wider support
As with any form of investment within the business structure, HRIS needs appropriate buy-in from those who will be using it on everyday basis. However, there could be individuals in the HR department who are happy with the system or are not comfortable with changing away from what they know. Without widespread support, a CEO or senior management team may overlook the benefits and stick with the status quo.
To address this concern, you need to do your research on HRIS software and highlight these factors to the team. It is important to remember that HR responsibilities are growing constantly and current challenges might stack up as compliance and reporting expectations increase – illustrating the value of having the best technology available.
Under the weight of pressure, a CEO is likely to want to hear what you are selling.
3) Highlight market competition
Many industries and sectors are ultra-competitive today and the majority of CEOs will not stand by and watch their opposition get a step ahead of them. This is another way to sell the idea of new HRIS technology.
If there is a way, HR departments could conduct their own market research in order to find out what software their competitors are using. Should this research discover that your business is behind the eight ball, this is the type of information that a CEO or senior management team needs to hear.
One critical element of this point is that some CEOs might be comfortable with the technology currently implemented – despite what the opposition is doing. This is why it’s vital to develop other reasons why the latest software is better – whether around cost savings, the opinion of the HR department or the productivity advantages.
While business leaders want to stand out from the crowd, there are obvious benefits to maintaining pace with the competition around fundamental enterprise areas such as the HR department.
4) Showcase the value of HR
In the past, the HR department was certainly a forgotten part of a business structure – often under-resourced and underfunded. However, times have certainly changed with HR functions playing a key strategic role in many other parts of the business puzzle – including training and development, recruitment and remuneration.
Without an experienced HR team using the best tools, there is no doubt that an enterprise would struggle and often fail to motivate the rest of the business onto higher achievements. CEOs need to know that HR is a mission-critical application and by not investing in its future, it is a recipe for disaster.
Of course, there are a number of ways to sell this importance. You could highlight examples of HR functions supporting other business ventures or provide examples of where current HR technology failed and this let down other areas of the organisation.
Understanding the sell
IT spending is coming under the microscope more closely than ever. While this is good news for the HR department, driving change is not always easy.
As such, if your department is searching for new technology to take your output to a new level, but can’t close the deal, contact the team at EmployeeConnect for further assistance today.