Last week, our team had the opportunity to gather together during our semi-annual confab. It was a long, but fun and educational week. In between our BBQ binges and Whirly Ball tournaments we had the opportunity to discuss some of the HR Technology trends and vendors with an industry friend, Rhonda Marcucci. Rhonda heads up Gruppo Marcucci, a consulting firm out of Chicago. Our discussions had me thinking a lot about where this industry is heading from both the vendor and consultant sides, but also the employer/consumer side.
With today’s technology advances and the trend toward “digital”, the buying experience is changing. Buyers have so much more information so easily available to them. With the click of a button, thousands of pieces of data are at your fingertips. With all of that information, it makes sense that consumers now use on average 28 different vehicles to research their large purchases. For instance, search “Benefits Administration” on Google and you get about 45,800,000 results! I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “quality over quantity” before. The same applies to this excess of information. Yes, just because you read it on the internet, doesn’t mean it is fact.
For example, a few years ago we had a client that sent our their own RFP for a benefits administration system and requested printed materials. They went into a bit of shock when they received huge boxes of brochures and binders. How could they possibly get through all of that data and still manage to do their day job? They would be responsible for all that data in making the right decision. And that’s when they called us…
The commercial vendors must be able to make their websites engaging. In order to stand out from all of the other competition (and there is a lot in the tech space due to the low entry barrier), your website should have a slick looking, personalized interface consumers can interact with. The battle is between the tension to engagingly provide information about value proposition, while at the same time protect the secret sauce that gives them a competitive edge. The desire for engagement goes beyond just the website though. Consumers are demanding that engagement throughout the usage of the product.
In companies, most large purchasing decisions are made by teams, which means tech companies have to appeal to more than one person within a consuming company. And while appealing to a group, they also have to note that there are many other vendors that offer a very similar service offering. What makes them stand out from those other vendors? It comes down to a culture fit. We have been seeing this trend a lot lately too: the final decision for a new HR Tech vendor coming down to two comparable vendors and the deciding factor ends up being the culture match of the vendor and the client.
What are you noticing as a buyer or seller of technology? Are there any other trends you’ve noticed?