The 6 Characteristics of Truly Great HR Tech Companies

Dec 10, 2013

I am tough on many HR tech companies who are lazy, dismissive and show no love for their customers; however, I do think there are incredible companies out there who believe in the value of people and understand the power of their product.

These companies don’t get enough credit for trying to make work better. I wanted to tell you about some of them without naming names.

  1. They pay their people well, treat them with respect, and employ some of the best HR practices in their own organizations. The conceit of many HR tech companies is that they’re not a human resources company. And that is exactly where they fail. You can’t sell to HR unless you do it properly. This means investing in a stellar CHRO — someone who reports to your CEO and not your VP of Ops — and empowering that HR leader to make an impact on the industry.
  2. They use their own products religiously. I work with HR tech companies who don’t use their own products very often. If it’s easier to use Excel or Quickbooks in lieu of your own product, you should probably stop selling your product.
  3. They aren’t just accountable to VC firms and board members. They are accountable to customers. Great companies are transparent to all constituencies. They don’t just report back to investors and boards. They provide a regular state of the union to customers and brand advocates.
  4. They don’t just want to be your partner. They want to be your partner in crime. There’s nothing worse than a sales representative who sells you a product and disappears like Houdini.
  5. If you dream it, they can do it for you. Some of the biggest product advancements in the HR tech industry have come from customers who ask for more — and vendors who listen.
  6. They don’t just enable you — they make you better. Sales enablement is a lie. No tip-sheet or trend report ever changed the world. The best companies hire sales reps who are leaders, teachers and “super connectors” who will introduce you to other great HR people who are changing the world. It is not enough to socialize a blog post or throw a cheesy user conference. The best HR tech companies will physically bring you to someone who is changing the face of HR and make a meaningful introduction.

These HR tech companies do exist. They are slowly making an impact on the way HR professionals integrate technology into their daily processes.

And when all is said and done, my friends in HR have an opportunity to direct the future of work, power, politics — and ultimately money — by connecting with one of these fabulous technology firms and learning everything they can about the future of human resources.

Find more from Laurie Ruettimann at her blog, The Cynical Girlwhere this first appeared.