As a staffing leader exploring new software, you face a daunting task. Hundreds of vendors touting amazing capabilities. Yet wild claims rarely match reality once systems are implemented. That’s why a meticulously crafted RFI is invaluable for mapping out your needs before demos. Think of it as a compass to guide your selection journey.
Define Your Current State
Before you can even jump into looking at new solutions, you have to figure out where you stand today. Providing in-depth context sets these potential vendors – and you – up for success on this quest. Outline your workflows, processes, and existing tech stack. Detail the pain points and challenges your team faces daily. Don’t just vent frustrations – document what’s broken and explain desired improvements that are well-aligned to your business goals. Give tangible examples of how new technology could enhance operations. This will eliminate wasted time by allowing the vendors to show you how their solution can fix your problems and needs, instead of giving you an out-of-the-box demo experience.
Classify Must-Haves vs. Nice-to-Haves
Not all requirements are created equal. Categorize each need into must-haves, nice-to-haves and “could live without.” Must-haves are absolute dealbreakers – functions like automated sequences, integrations with your ATS or other systems, and customized reporting. Prioritize these over nice-to-haves like AI features, and avoid scope creep by focusing on your true needs first. If you have this outlined and agreed upon by key stake holders, even better. You will all be on the same page going into the demos.
Consolidate Your Tech Stack
Once you start cataloging all the tech in your stack, it’s easy to see how tech creep can happen. Take the time to closely evaluate your various niche software and tools. Can any be consolidated or replaced by a system that handles similar items?
Ensure any integrated modules provide the specialized functionality required that isn’t covered within your main platform. But, also be sure not to compromise unique needs just for the sake of wanting a single solution. It’s ok to have several pieces of software that make up your overall stack, just be sure they are unique and can’t be served by your main platform.
Map Your Future State
Consider your goals not just for next quarter, but for years down the road. How will you scale, expand services, or enter new markets? Ensure potential systems can grow with you. Bonus points if the platform helps shape your future vision rather than just enabling it. Think big picture here, you don’t want to be stuck with a tech stack that limits your growth.
Vet Integration Capabilities
No software operates in a vacuum. Seamless integration between platforms is mandatory. Provide API specs for your existing systems and require proof that key integrations work before committing. Disconnected tools that constantly require manual syncing and band-aid solutions waste time and money.
Engage Professional Services
Consultants provide invaluable guidance bridging the gap between goals and reality. With an RFI in hand, you are ready to engage professional services to build a proof of concept using your actual data and workflows.
Get hands-on and tailor the software to your environment before purchase. A proof of concept can show that your tech provider is with you for the long haul, and gives your teams a realistic opportunity to evaluate the tech prior to purchase.
Set Realistic Implementation Expectations
The right software won’t magically solve all problems overnight. Be honest about time investments needed to integrate platforms, customize features, train users, and refine clunky workflows. Have a phased rollout plan and timeline. Celebrate small wins to build momentum, and don’t be afraid to involve key team members from the beginning.
RFIs are the compass for your software selection journey. By coming into a demo prepared with an RFI, you are setting yourself up for success in finding the right tech provider for your firm’s needs. Click here to download your RFI template today.