5 Steps to Get Your Boss’ Buy-In For an Applicant Tracking System
by Lynna Peterson
We often have HR professionals try our applicant tracking software, fall in love with how much easier their recruiting process becomes, but then fail to buy. They simply can’t get the money approved to purchase the software. I have never understood why this situation occurs since our software is priced so reasonably that it seems like a “no-brainer” decision for any company that hires more than a few people a year. Time and again we run into these past prospects, and find out that they are still struggling with their old, ineffective process.
Use the numbers to your advantage
After spending quite a bit of time talking with HR professionals about this strange occurrence, I have finally found the cause. During a free trial of our system, it becomes very clear to our users how ApplicantPro will make their lives so much easier, and is in fact a “no-brainer” purchasing decision. However, they simply don’t know how to make the “pitch” to get buy in from their management team.
Here are a few ideas that will help you talk to your decision maker about getting the buy in for an applicant tracking system:
1. Put yourself in their shoes.
This one can be tricky because it is in our nature to focus on our needs and look at the world from our lens. Step outside yourself and ask yourself some of these questions about your decision maker:
- What is their focus?
- What are they trying to accomplish?
- What drives them?
- How do they get their bonuses and/or recognition?
- How are people in their profession recognized?
- How does HR/Talent affect their job?
- How does HR affect their direct reports?
- What type of data do they use?
- What specific vocabulary do they use?
2. Gather data on your process.
For this step, you need take some time to map out which steps you take during your hiring process. This will be a process such as, write a job posting, place job ad with XYZ Job board, Place job ad with XYZ Newspaper, etc. Along with those steps track the amount of time each of these tasks are taking you and your team.
You will want to speak their language and use data to back it up”
3. Convert data into decision maker’s language.
Rather than saying, it is really time consuming for us to have to post each job individually and then to look through each resume by hand. You will want to speak their language and use data to back it up. Here are a few calculations that will really make the case for buying ApplicantPro hiring software to your boss:
- Loss of revenue per vacant position
- Hours spent by HR per new hire
- Comparison of time spent on old process and time spent with Applicant Tracking System (should be easy to do with a free trial of ApplicantPro.)
- Number of resumes received per job.
- Cost of ApplicantPro per year, per new hire, per applicant. (Don’t forget. ApplicantPro is one of the most affordable Applicant Tracking Systems out there. Most of our customers pay around $150 per month!)
4. Prepare for your pitch.
Remember that the data will rule
Now that you have put yourself in their shoes, have gathered data and converted that data into the language and pain of the decision maker, you are armed and ready to make your pitch. Remember, you will not be talking about how great an applicant tracking system will be for you in HR. You will be focused 100% on your decision maker and how getting hiring software will benefit them. Here are some things you will want to answer in preparation:
- How does your new program affect that person?
- How does it support their goals?
- How does it reduce their pain?
- How will it affect their numbers?
- What’s in it for them?
5. Take a deep breath and make your pitch.
This might be a little scary because in general HR professionals are not aggressive by nature and have a tough time asking for money for anything (even a system that is proven to save them time and the company money). With all of the preparation you have done, you should feel confident in talking with your decision maker. Remember that the data will rule. Use the numbers to your advantage and always, always remember that the focus should be on them, the pain it solves, the goals it helps them to attain, and the ways an applicant tracking system will benefit them in their own job scope.
Good luck! We know that you can do it. If there is anything that we can do to help you feel confident in pitching for an applicant tracking system, please let us know. We would be happy to help!
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