Hey, gang! I’m out this week spending some time at iCIMS Influence event. It’s part analyst event, part iCIMS customer event. Basically, bring a bunch of recruiting nerds together, that think alike, and see if some cool stuff happens. Turns out, no matter where you are in the world of TA, we all basically have the same problems! We need to fill jobs.
One of the topics that came up is the adoption of the recruiting technology we purchase. How do we get higher user adoption, etc? A very classic issue that won’t go away and there’s all this wonderful research around how we should ‘gamify’ and ‘reward’ and tell folks how great they are, even when they aren’t!
I get that ‘forcing’ someone to do something they don’t want to do, does not have great long term success! Especially in an ultra-low unemployment market. I get that we want our recruiters to have a great experience and love their jobs. I get that we want candidates to have a great experience and love our companies. I. Get. All. Of. That.
So, can get real for a second?
The adoption of technology is not difficult. It’s actually a super easy concept. Here are the 4 steps:
1. Integrate your actual work processes within the technology so that work can’t be completed without using the technology. I.E., Workarounds will not show up on data, virtually meaning, the work did not happen.
2. Do you believe the technology you purchased actually makes you a better organization? If so, then it is a condition of employment that we/you/they use the technology to make our organization more successful. Yes, Karen, that means you’ll have to change and use the new system, even though you’ve used the old way for 32 straight years. If you decide not to use the technology that will make our organization more successful, we will find someone who will. Period.
3. Part of technology adoption is a continued desire to test and innovate, so ensure our technology is still our most successful choice, or maybe something better has come along and we need to adapt and adjust. So, we’ll have an actual measure around testing potential new technology to replace or enhance our stack.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 on an ongoing basis.
Numbers one and two should be very clear to you. Great process design fully utilizes your tech. Great performance management ensures your people use the tech.
Number three is the one some folks will decide isn’t needed, but here’s why it’s critical! Billy decides your tech sucks and his way is better and Billy goes rogue. You tell Billy that a decision, above his pay grade, has been made that to ensure the success of our organization we are going to utilize the technology we’ve purchased to its fullest capabilities (step 1).
You also let Billy know that he will not be forced to use this technology, and we will certainly miss having him around the office. (step 2). But, Billy, we have another option for you, because we love you and value you, we want you to work the tech we have 100%, but we have a side project that we want you to test, and maybe, this side project will demonstrate to our decision-makers there is a better, more effective way to run our process (step 3).
Adoption is maintained. Billy is helping us get better. All is right with the world.
The adoption of technology is not a technology problem, it’s a leadership communication problem, and it’s easily solved.
Adoption is easy if you have individuals on the team who are committed to making the company better, faster, and stronger. Push back comes from those afraid to learn or stuck in the mentality of “this is how we’ve always done it.” Unfortunately this mindset is the majority of the population.
I work for an aggressively scaling company and it feels exciting to always be on the lookout for workflows or tools that can continue to add value as as we grow. I’ve never really understood the stagnant mentality. Make moves or make excuses.
Agreed that it’s a leadership and communications issue. Disagree about adoption being easy. (If it were easy, you wouldn’t be discussing it at a conference with other HR influencers, it’d just be done!) The concept is simple, yes, but as with most things, execution is everything, and turns out, the way you communicate matters very, very much—and is very, very difficult to get right.