Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: HR Tech Vendor Fatigue is a Real Thing!

You know how milk and employees have an expiration date? Come on! We all have that one employee who been with us way past their expiration date and we just can’t take them any longer. They might actually have great skills and knowledge, but they still need to go! They’ve gone past their employee expiration date!

I get to talk to a lot of HR and Talent executives about the technology they use. The majority are fine with what they have. They take the positive leadership stance of this is what we have right now and we’ll make the most of it. If we get to a point where our technology is working against us, we’ll push to upgrade or change. Some are in love with their tech. I find most of these are in the honeymoon phase and were the ones who choose the tech. Some hate their tech.

What I find with most executives who hate their tech is the tech isn’t the issue, it’s usually Vendor Fatigue.

What’s Vendor Fatigue? 

HR Tech Vendor Fatigue is when you are probably having some problems with your tech stack, it’s not doing exactly what you need it to do. You’ve been going back and forth with your main vendor to try and make the changes you need, but it seems to be just more headache after another. You’ve been there, right? We all have!

So, instead of just going the last ten yards and getting it done, you decide it’s best to just move on and start over! You’re too fatigued to continue to work with this vendor, even though if you sat down and thought about it logically you would come to the conclusion staying with your current vendor is really the wisest solution and what’s best short and long-term for the organization and your resources.

But we don’t do that!

Instead, we go out and buy a new system that is basically 90% the same as the old system, and we start fresh. It’s like a marriage. Some people work to try and make it better. Hey, at one point I fell in love with you. We went through some hard times and we can now get divorced or we can go to counseling and rekindle that great thing we once had. We already know each other’s deep, dark secrets, so maybe it’s best if we just figure this thing out!

The biggest mistake most HR and Talent Executives make around HR Tech! 

I constantly speak to executives who are using a really great system. Top 5 on the market and they tell me they’re moving to another Top 5 system because they just can’t take it anymore. The system they have isn’t working, “I mean, Tim, my team is only using 35% of the technology!” Then they look at me for approval…

I tell them you’re making a big mistake. The technology you have in place right now is being utilized by hundreds, thousands of organizations that are doing great things with it. You only using 35% is not a tech problem, that’s a ‘you’ problem. Guess what’s going to happen with your new system? Yep – 35% usage. Find out first how to use what you have 100% and then tell me why it’s not working.

HR Tech vendor fatigue is just like a relationship gone bad. But we tend to think about it way differently. “No, Tim, they are a vendor and they should bow down to us and make it right!” Well, sometimes, yes, sometimes, no, you’re being unreasonable!

But, there are also times when it’s time to get divorced from each other. Expectations have become unreasonable. You both are making each other stressed out. While it’s true that one of you is a buyer and one of you is a vendor, pointing that fact out doesn’t help, but it is a reality. I’ve fired some clients and I’ve been fired by clients. Both of those firings cost me money, but one probably eliminated a lot of stress!

If you’re feeling fatigued by any of your HR or Talent vendors ask yourself some questions:

  • Did I do everything I can to make this solution work?
  • If we became a super user of our current tech would this tech work for us like we need?
  • Can we live without this solution? Short and Long-term?
  • Am I making the best resource decision for the organization or just making my life easier?
  • Will the state I’m in right now, happen again with my next vendor? Why or why not?

We love to believe our vendor is the issue, and many times they are, but also many times they aren’t!

2 thoughts on “Your Weekly Dose of HR Tech: HR Tech Vendor Fatigue is a Real Thing!

  1. Spot on Tim, especially the piece “it’s not working for us but we’re only using 35% of the functionality”
    The other frustrating piece is the ongoing lack of real change to the supporting workflows to maximise the potential for people to get the most out of the system

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