There are so many challenges that TA leaders are trying to solve for today. Everything from constantly shifting workforce to an ever-evolving technology landscape. Trying to marry these things up are a thing of nightmares. Every day, a new shiny object in the HR Tech world promises to “change everything”. Every week a new article about how Generation Z is going to upend work as we know it. Meanwhile, we see this manifesting in our day-to-day work. We hear hiring managers complaining about the lack of quality candidates. We see increasing time to fill and cost per hire. It’s clear we need to do something different. We know something’s just not right. But our budget is fixed. Our toolset is set. So, how do we make change? How do we get the business to see that we may need to do things differently? That we may need to invest? The easy answer is developing a business case. But we all know that isn’t easy at all.
In our April 17th webinar (register here), we will share how to create a future proof business case for HR Tech. We talked to TA leaders who were able to successfully build a business case and secure new funding for their HR Tech projects.
In preparing a business case, there are always different points where you can lose steam. Could be with your team, could be with your leadership. Either way, these lessons learned can help you be successful as you begin to think about your own business case to secure funding and change within your organization.
Every business case must lead with a problem, not a solution. Otherwise it’s like answering a question before the question has been asked. When you lead with the solution, you obscure the problem and it’s almost impossible to get someone on board if they understand what problem you’re trying to solve. Even if you know exactly how to solve the problem, you still need team and leadership buy in to get the funding you need to make the solution a reality. This is the first and fastest place to stall your business case momentum. Instead, help your team and leadership see the problem you are trying to solve. Help them see the pain it creates in the business and in their work day. When you lead with the problem and you share the problem in terms they can understand and show them that it is their problem, too, you have a greater likelihood of continuing down the business case path. Always lead with the problem.
Once you get them onboard with the problem, the next potential point of failure in securing your case is overpromising the results. Not only will this damage the current business case, it may damage future business cases you bring to your leadership. When you get overly aggressive in your projected results and return on investment, the CFO will be able to sniff this out in 5 seconds flat. They have seen a lot of business cases and they’ve seen a lot of them fail. In fact 50% of all technology projects fail, and your leadership knows this. Knowing this is critical. When you are predicting the outcome, be conservative. Don’t think you can cut your cost per hire by 90%, or increase productivity by 50%, it’s not reasonable. Instead, bring them something that is not only reasonable, but achievable. This will show your team that you are pragmatic and realistic and that it might actually work and not be part of the 50% that fail.
This may be the one thing that people forget to do that dooms the business case and also the execution of the project. In HR Tech, there are so many solutions that are telling people they have to change the way they do their job, or that it will do their job for them. Either one is fraught with user pushback. When you bring something to the table that will change the way someone does their job, they are not likely to do it. Frankly, they like the way their job is now. Instead, they will view it as added tasks that they cannot possibly fit into their work day. On the other side, if you tell someone that a new tool will do their job for them, they are immediately fearful and will not use the new tool because they’d love to keep their job. Preparing a plan for change management can overcome both of these challenges as well as show your leadership team that you are really thinking this all the way through. Sharing with your team how this tool will free them up to do more pressing things or things they enjoy more will help them see how this tool will solve the problem and enhance their own working experience.
While there is so much more to building a business case that gets the c-suit to yes, it’s critical to understand these key insights that will drive your company forward and solve some of your most pressing Talent Acquisition challenges. Register today to dig deeper and master this valuable skill to take your organization to the next level and solve some of those daily challenges you’re wrestling with right now.
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