You finally did it. After countless weeks of market research, vendor comparisons, and wading through customer reviews, you found the best new HR technology for your organization.
Unfortunately, the fight’s not over yet.
You now have to create buy-in among the executives who need to sign off on a technology purchase. Where do you even start? Each C-suite member often has different priorities and, more importantly, veto power. Suffice it to say, building consensus is certainly not an easy task.
How to Sell Your C-Suite on New HR Technology
As an HR leader, you know the importance and value HR tech can have on your organization, it’s time to convince your C-suite to believe the same. So, how can you deliver a persuasive presentation to the C-suite? You need to learn to speak the language of leadership and back up your selection with a compelling business case. Here are a few tips.
1. Keep money in mind
A technology purchase can be a costly investment, so it’s likely the executives you’re presenting to will expect a tie-in to dollars and cents. When building your business case, include the cost of implementation and how you’ll offset that cost, as well as the risk of not implementing the technology.
For example, as a senior vice president at Oracle, one of the largest producers of enterprise technology, tells HR Technologist, “The constantly changing expectations of candidates and employees is one of the biggest challenges organizations face today and is resulting in escalating recruitment costs and increasing employee turnover.” Employee churn could be eating away at your organization’s budget, so be sure to indicate how your tech investment can reduce that expense and boast a positive return on investment.
2. Avoid HR jargon
C-level executives are more likely to support a people-focused initiative when they can see how it will translate into growth and success for their company. However, HR jargon doesn’t always resonate with business leadership.
Try avoiding terms like “employee engagement” for example. Although it describes the emotional attachment your workforce feels toward their job and workplace, and has even been directly tied to business productivity and retention, it shouldn’t necessarily be the focal point of your business case. Using jargon to explain what your pitch means and why it's important may not easily translate to your audience and can prove ineffective in getting your point across.
3. Do your research
Before presenting to your C-suite, be sure to thoroughly research and assess the technology you’d like to implement, how it impacts your organization, and why the investment should matter to your organization’s top executives. It’s highly probable you’ll be asked your fair share of questions, so prepare your answers and be ready to respond to questions such as: What obstacles may be in the way of the initiative? Have projects like this been tried before? Did they work? Why or why not?
If you’re worried about having all the answers on the spot, you may want to consider preparing a one-page report that highlights the benefits of the investment. This not only shows you’ve done your fair share of research and preparation, but it also provides your C-suite with any information that may not be presented in your in-person meeting.
4. Be succinct
Time is money for busy business leaders, so keep your business case short and to the point. Stating the problem, solution, and a few supportive bullet points to make your case is generally all you need. Be sure to include the following:
- A few relevant data points to support your case
- Details on how the investment solves a problem your organization is experiencing
- Direct link as to how HR tech ties into the organization’s top initiatives
Often, HR investments are regarded as too costly and not important enough to actually integrate into an organization. However, investing in HR technology is beneficial for the department and the entire organization as a whole. Prove it to your C-suite and you’ll have a far better chance of unlocking a budget for new (and probably much needed) HR technology.
About the Author: Marie Johnson is a contributor to Enlightened Digital, UX Designer and technology writer from New York City. If she's not writing her latest blog post in her kitchen, you'll likely find her strolling through Central Park, cappuccino in hand.