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By Raj Sheth 

Recruiters and HR professionals alike find that their technology quickly becomes outdated. According to a research report published by Bersin earlier this year, about 57 per cent of companies are planning to make a big HR software purchase in the next year and a half, but the already booming HR technology industry is only going to get bigger – and for good reason.

The recent developments in HR tech proved extremely efficient and cost-effective. As technology improves, the standards in HR change, and yet, the average HR management system (HRMS) in large companies is over five years old (according to the same research report by Bersin).

When considering all that occurred in HR technology in the last five years, it’s easy to see why everyone feels ready for an upgrade. This HR technology boom makes it difficult to keep up with the others in the HR tech arms race, especially when the pressure to upgrade gets tougher with every new technology.

The budget crisis

Of course, the matter of new technology in any department often comes back to budget issues. Pricing and cost can be a roadblock; whether an organization feels stuck with outdated or subpar software or if it simply wants to implement some type of HR technology, budget becomes a cause for concern.

Approaching management for anything new seems intimidating, and the word “software” instantly evokes the image of dollar signs. Budgets always err to the tight side, but budgets get implemented for future use. When it comes to HR technology, a budget may or may not work, but if management remains unaware of issues or restrictions, nothing happens. If the funding cannot occur, planting the seed of the need may help future efforts.

Working with what an organization has

Some companies feel dissatisfied with software that may only be a few years old. Regardless of budget, certain improvements can take place. By working with the current software provider and the internal team, an organization may find surprising opportunities. A few steps to get the process going:

• Gather information from the internal team and find out exactly what they feel is missing or could improve in the current software
• See if technical support can help with these issues. The provider knows the system best, and asking cannot hurt.
• Find out if the software can tailor to the team’s needs and seek instruction on how to do this
• Discover costs associated with upgrades and updates and decide if the cost justifies the benefits

Slow and steady can win this race

Overall, new software might not fit in the budget immediately, so it’s important to understand what the team actually needs and where current systems can improve or get tweaked. With the current rate at which HR technologies advance, the sense of urgency to keep up certainly puts pressure on organizations. Since repeated updating can get costly and frequently training a team about new systems may slow down production and efficiency, learning when to change or when to work with the current system remains key. Choose timing and technology wisely by using current systems optimally and making informed decisions. The HR tech arms race remains a contest to find what works best for each individual organization – not a battle to the upgraded finish line.

Raj Sheth is the co-founder of Recruiterbox, an online recruitment software and applicant tracking system designed especially for growing companies. Prior to Recruiterbox, he founded two other web startups – a classifieds portal and an ecommerce site. He is a graduate of Babson College and spent the first three years of his career as a financial analyst with EMC Corporation in Boston. Visit his website at

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