By Peter Weddle, CEO TAtech
Talent technology companies will face all the normal challenges in 2022. They will have to increase sales and strengthen their brand’s visibility among both current and new customers. Covid will complicate their ability to meet those tests, but it does not change their fundamental nature. This year, however, also presents a new challenge, one that is abnormal and has the potential to influence both the success of a solution provider’s sales and the distinction of its brand. That challenge is Buyer’s Remorse.
Buyer’s remorse typically occurs when a person or organization makes a large or important purchase only to have it subsequently fail to provide the expected benefit. In most kinds of purchases, it is an infrequent occurrence, but given the use and reach of social media, even a single customer’s bad experience can significantly undercut a vendor’s future sales and brand. That’s an especially important reality for talent technology companies as thousands of employers bought their products in 2021, and a whopping 74 percent of businesses plan to increase their spending on HR tech in 2022. It is very good news and also, unfortunately, the fuel for a firestorm of buyer’s remorse.
What’s the best way to meet this new challenge? First, solution providers must recognize the causes of buyer’s remorse among the buyers of talent technology. Second, they must devise effective strategies for addressing each of the causes. Third, they must continuously monitor their customers for any evidence of buyer’s remorse. And fourth, should they find one or more customers with that condition, they must proactively diagnose its causes and institute the appropriate strategy of remediation.
The Causes of Buyer’s Remorse Among Talent Tech Customers
The current talent shortfall and resulting pressure on recruiters rachets up even further the importance for employers of a talent technology purchase and thus the potential for buyer’s remorse. No product is immune, whether it’s a CRM platform or an applicant tracking system, a job board or a chatbot. Buyers need to achieve their expected improvement in recruiting performance (as measured by their KPIs) and, by extension, their return on investment or they will be disappointed in the outcome and regret their purchase.
What causes these disappointing outcomes?
Given the fierce competition in the sales process, solution providers have no choice but to describe their product’s capabilities in the most expansive and positive language. The vast majority of vendors make a concerted effort to be candid and clear about what their product can and cannot do, but buyers sometimes hear only what they want or need to hear and that can lead to misunderstanding and regret.
The introduction of a new technology almost always leads to organizational change. That change can involve work practices, policies, skill requirements and more in both the recruiting team and elsewhere in the organization. In some cases, individual recruiters or managers in specific departments such as IT will resist those changes as disruptive and cause a performance shortfall and regret.
Bringing a new talent technology product onboard is just as difficult as bringing on a new employee. Whether it involves integrating the product with the other systems in an employer’s tech stack or the best practices for writing a job ad to be posted on a new job board – failing to effectively involve the appropriate stakeholders in implementation can cause widespread disfunction and regret.
Talent technology solution providers achieve business success by overcoming challenges – those they normally see each year and those that are new in the market. They are practiced at meeting traditional challenges; they know how to generate sales and advance their brand. To meet a novel challenge, however, they first have to recognize it and learn its causes and then they must develop responsive solutions. That additional and unfamiliar activity is what makes Buyer’s Remorse their biggest challenge in 2022.
Food for Thought,
P.S. To help your customers get implementation right, enroll them in the TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management.
Peter Weddle is the author or editor of over two dozen books and a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the founder and CEO of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions. You can download his latest book – The Neonaissance – for free at OneStoryforAll.com.