A 10 step manual to start sourcing your HR Technology

By Hans Mangelschots

Picture: Evgeni Tcherkasski

Selecting the right HR Technology setup for your business can be a tough job considering the size of today’s market. Yet if your organization is ready for a people-oriented approach of HR with HR Technology as enabler, you will have to catch the bull by the horns.

Some have a bias towards technology in general, (unfairly) arguing that it is expensive and probably out of budget. Others often ask us where and how to start searching in their own professional language, without getting lost in the offering or in technicalities they do not always understand.

Being an HR Tech Market Analyst, it triggered me to compile a checklist for sourcing HR Technology. I am not going to tell you how to SWOT HR Software, yet with this list you will be able to create a shortlist of Digital Solutions.

1. Mindset

Look at it this process as you were selecting the perfect candidate. Because you are selecting tools who might be a match with your needs.

As in any recruitment process, everything starts with a vacancy that tells the candidate what you are looking for. Therefore, when sourcing for HR Technology, having a complete list of requirements before the search might save you a lot of time.

2. List of requirements

I am a huge fan of the phrase “Anything is possible in IT”, yet – not being an IT guy – I know I do not have all information.

It is probably a good idea to put together a list of requirements within an interdisciplinary team including HR, IT and Business as this is most likely the fastest way to set your goals, receive conditions and talk about budget.

Doing this before you start exploring the market will leave you in the dark about recent pricing and features – yet the information and consent are primordial and you can always come back with improvements or new insights. Once you know the needs of your organization, you will discover that most HR Technology shares similar characteristics.

Do not forget to discuss:

· Cloud access

· Security features, GDPR, encryptions

· Intuitive end-user experience

· Training and user support

· Scalability (can the solution handle your number of staff, now and in the future?)

3. Current suppliers

Start by asking your current technology suppliers - if you are not replacing them. Chances are they already know several digital solutions for your challenge and things get interesting when they already are working with some of them.

Why? Costs in development and implementation will be lower when a certain connection already exists.

4. Fast search platforms

There are HR Tech databases on the internet, helping you selecting the right gear for your HR Tech setup. Bear in mind that most of these sites have a double business model.

On one hand they are a search and refer (review) site, receiving income (sometimes per click) from suppliers willing to be on that platform.

On the other hand, these platforms offer consultancy and insights by comparing every digital solution that has a button on their site.

The advantage of these sites is that it gives you an idea of what is out there, fast and based on the goal you want to achieve.

The downsides are that only the suppliers who can afford this kind of Marketing Strategy are represented at these platforms and that they absolutely want to be found. This sometimes causes a blurry search result because suppliers not always categorize themselves correctly in their urge for getting “a lead” and are (too) eager to meet your requirements.

Examples of sites for this kind of a fast search are:

Other sites gather HR Tech providers around other causes, yet branding is always one of them. For European HR Tech you can also check out recruitmenttech.nl, HRTechReview.nl, HRTech1000.com, LelabRH, HRTechDirectory.eu, Index by TNW and many others.

Our HR TECH Valley member database also contains useful information such as the "problem being solved" versus the "return on investment (ROI)".

  • Tip: with “ctrl + p” you are able to print a company page and obtain a one-pager to discuss in the multi-disciplinary team.

5. Google

Last time I checked, using the word “HR Software” in Google Ads costed about € 30 per click! Imagine the first two pages of your search being only those suppliers who can afford this kind of money on a Marketing Strategy.

This does not mean Google search is contaminated. When you look at page 3-4-5 of your searchresults, you can still find “rough diamonds and perfectly fitting jewelry”.

If you are looking for local suppliers, try searching in your native language and use translated versions of certain English keywords.

6. Alternatives

When you have not exactly found what you are looking for, but you know one supplier who is offering that feature or package? Try searching for alternatives. Smaller and younger, sometimes more innovative, suppliers tend to brand themselves as an X-alternative.

7. Longlist of solutions

Depending on the offer and the complexity of your request, you will now have a first raw version of a list with potential digital solutions. Now it is time to sort and filter this list, but before we can do that, we need to know more about each solution. So, we will take a quick look at their website to downsize this longlist.

8. Website

What is on the website of the supplier must gain your trust. So, besides the glamour and the perfect story, what else is on there to watch?

Some things I check out when analyzing the HR Software website:

  • When was the last site activity? (Blogpost, article, whitepaper, webinar,)

  • Are there any clients, used cases or testimonials mentioned on the site?

  • Are there many partners or integrations (solutions where the supplier retrieves the needed data, outside his own solution) and how many of them does your organization already have in its network? (makes implementing easier)

  • Are there any screenshots or any other proof of a cloud-based product?

  • Does the company have a balanced team compilation and proven track record?

9. Check out the competitors

Now you have a first version of a “trusted” shortlist, compare each solution on your list with its competitor (alternative) again – you might find a new provider because in the mean time you know better what you are looking for.

10. Go for a demo-dive

Digital demos are free. No strings attached.

They are ideal to screen the solution to your needs.

  • Fast scheduled at your pace

  • Deep impression in a short notice of time

  • You do not have to be open about your request and you are not committed to a follow up

These are ten steps you could take when you are sourcing for HR Technology. The last one is to book a meeting with the potential supplier(s) of choice for a matchmaking conversation.

There is always the possibility to accelerate the process by outsourcing one or more of these steps. This is exactly what HR TECH Valley offers to its clients with Independent Trusted Advice.

You can either book us for a consultation about market evolution and offerings, or hire us to organize your very own Discovery Day so you can efficiently meet those solutions that answer your needs.

Good luck!



Hans Mangelschots

Connecting the dots in HR & HR Tech

Business Development Manager HR TECH Valley