Navigating the Software Maze: A Balancing Act for Staffing Leaders

A man in a suit is walking down a vibrant hallway, charting the course to staffing software success.

As a seasoned staffing and recruiting leader, you live in a constant state of controlled chaos. Your days are filled with overseeing intricate workflows, managing client relationships, and ensuring your team has what they need to excel.

Process and efficiency enable you to spin all those plates flawlessly. But you also keep an eye on emerging technologies and stay open to tools that could amplify results.

Evaluating new software is a balancing act – maintaining daily operations while moving towards the future. Here are some tips to help you navigate this maze successfully:

Get Buy-In Across the Organization

A catastrophic mistake is buying software without input from key stakeholders. Be sure to include representatives from recruiting, sales, finance, IT, operations, and other integral departments on the buying committee. This ensures all voices are heard and priorities are considered.

Loop in team members who will actually use the software day-to-day. They know the pain points and limitations of your current system best, and can provide guidance as to which features are must-haves, and which ones you can skip.

Don’t let flashy demos and exciting sales pitches overshadow feedback from your end users. They will be the true test of whether a new software works. Consider creating a survey to capture current challenges and desired improvements. Compile this with specific requests you’ve received over time so real needs are addressed.

Map Out Workflows and Requirements

Come armed with detailed use cases, workflows, and requirements before vendor demos. Take time to document your current processes and benchmarks. If you don’t have the processes well-documented, start there. This makes it easier to evaluate if a new system will truly address pain points versus just having the latest bells and whistles. Share these docs with vendors ahead of time so they can craft a customized demo experience for you.

Prioritize Must-Haves Over Nice-to-Haves

No software will check every box, so focus on the critical make-or-break features. Resist getting dazzled by capabilities that, while nice, don’t directly address your core requirements. Take the results of your staff survey, and stick firm to the end-users’ needs aligned with your workflows and KPIs.

It is also key to confirm integrations work with your other systems. When talking with new tech vendors, make sure you’ve given them a list of your full tech stack so they can speak to your specific integration needs. Nothing sinks adoption like a clunky connector integrating two pieces of tech…

Take it for a Test Drive

Don’t just take a vendor’s word that their software can handle your needs. Request a trial period and get hands-on experience before buying. Let your team kick the tires in a low-risk environment. Provide ample opportunity for their feedback to surface concerns, and use this time to evaluate the vendor’s responsiveness and support.

Think of it like dating for awhile before you propose – you want to be sure not only that the tech works in practice, but also that you’ll be gaining a partnership that will be with you for the long haul.

Plan for Adoption from the Start

The most brilliant software is worthless if your team doesn’t use it. That’s why having an adoption plan should be part of your strategy from the very beginning. Start with your selection committee, and be sure that everyone is aligned on the must-have, nice-to-have, and don’t-need items for your tech stack. Getting on the same page in advance of signing a contract will increase the likelihood of adoption.

Consider change management strategies and training resources needed. A good technology solution will have some of this provided for you already. Poor adoption after rollout is one of the biggest pitfalls to avoid.

Changing or upgrading your tech stack requires vision and diligence. But with a thoughtful process, you can cut through the hype and find tools that actually take your operations up a level. Not sure where to start? Check out our RFI template where you can evaluate the needs of your tech stack here or to listen to the full podcast episode, tune in here.

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