As HR Technology vendors convene on Las Vegas at the 2013 HR Technology® Conference & Expo, they’re focused on one thing:  standing out and differentiating themselves to the HR Buyers.


Do people think of themselves as HR “buyers”?  Does the CHRO at the Fortune 500 firm think, “I’m the top HR Buyer in this joint.  That entire budget is mine.”  Does the VP of HR at the 375 person widget manufacturer think, “How much HR Technology stuff can I buy for this place this year? And will I get an ROI?”

No.  No they don’t.

But, you know what they do?  They open their email Inbox, pick up their phone, and attend an occasional industry conference or symposium.  They see and hear the myriad of messages sent at them. They experience the marketing and sales tactics. They also sometimes decide they need better systems or processes to support their actual Company or Department goals, and go out and look on the web, or build a team, to start researching solutions and vendors.  They sit through the Powerpoint presentations, watch the product demonstrations, and listen to the voice mails.

One thing is for sure.  In marketing and sales we never feel like we know enough about them.  My entire career is based on having an understanding of them – the HR buyers.

So, it wasn’t surprising when after the first InfluenceHR in May, many of you asked to hear straight from buyers.  You asked us to invite a few brave HR souls to come into the room with all of you Vendor Top Executives and tell you how it really is.  So with that in mind, we’re excited to present the first InfluenceHR buyer panel . . .

Josh Schwede, Vice President of Business Development at HireVue, will lead a panel of successful Human Resources professionals who have experience with the human resources technology marketing and sales cycle and know what it’s like to purchase everything from applicant tracking systems to multipoint control units, at InfluenceHR on October 28 in New York City.

The panel will focus on what a successful partnership between human resources leaders and vendors looks like in today’s modern sales cycle. Dan Black, Americas Director of Recruiting at EY, believes that the best vendors are the ones who aren’t afraid to push back and challenge the human resources team to embrace new ideas and new technologies.

Lorna Hagen, Vice President of People Operations at OnDeck, believes that the most successful sales meetings happen when the vendor comes to the meeting with a differentiated sales solution. She is also surprised when vendors don’t see the potential of their own technology.

“There’s a problem when I understand technology and I am thinking more creatively than the sales guy.”

Mark Fogel, Chief Human Resource Officer of the Marcum Group, agrees. He appreciates when vendors do their homework and understand the existing architecture and infrastructure challenges within his company. He wishes vendors would own up to mistakes and shortcomings in the past.

Dan Black thinks that a great vendor will also demonstrate humility and highlight teachable moments in the company’s history. If you can point to an important lesson that was learned during the sales cycle or during a product’s implementation, that act of courage will inculcate trust.

The panel will also be ready to discuss what great HR technology messages or campaigns that have resonated with them and what campaigns have bombed. And just because a marketing campaign was great doesn’t mean that a sale was made.  Josh Schwede will ask his panelists, “Did you actually buy the technology product?”

This is just one session on what has turned into an incredible agenda, packed with exclusive content for CEOs and Market Leaders at HR Technology and Service firms.  If you haven’t registered yet, do it soon via the InfluenceHR Conference Site.