Making the Internal Case for Assessment Software

By Michael Harbolt on March 15, 2023

As technology continues to advance, HR teams are constantly faced with the need to purchase new software to remain competitive and efficient. 

However, convincing decision-makers to approve a new software purchase can be a challenging task. In this blog post, we will discuss how to make the case internally for a new assessment software purchase, from initial needs analysis through to final presentation.

Identify the Need for New Software

The first step in making the case for new assessment software is to identify the primary need for it. The need could arise from several different scenarios such as high turnover, better quality hires, removing hiring bias or simply making your recruitment team more efficient.  

Needs that can be tied to specific business challenges resulting in lost revenue or increased costs can often make it easier to justify and offset the additional software expense.    

Once you have identified the need (or needs), it is important to gather data to support your argument.

Gather Data and Analyze It

When making the case for new software, data is essential to support your argument. You will need to gather data that shows the benefits of the assessment solution such as increased productivity, improved efficiency, and cost savings through reduction in turnover. You can gather this data by conducting surveys or analyzing existing data in your organization. 

For example, you can analyze the amount of time recruiters spend on repetitive tasks like basic phone screening that could be automated with the right assessment provider, and calculate the cost savings by multiplying their hourly rate by the expected hours saved.

Another example – pull your turnover rate for the last year and ask your vendor for the average reduction in turnover experienced by their clients post implementation (for HighMatch, the floor turnover rate reduction is 17%, with the majority of clients seeing considerably higher reductions).  Then calculate the cost savings of that reduction in turnover from your current percentage.  To make that a little easier, HighMatch has a tool that will calculate that for you.

It can take a while to do this due diligence (although the right assessment partner, like HighMatch, can help you out), however this data will help you to build a strong ROI case which you’ll need for the next step. 

Develop a Business Case

Once you have gathered the necessary data, you can develop a business case for the new assessment software purchase. A business case is a document that outlines the benefits of the new software and the costs associated with it. The business case should include the following:

  • Description of the problem or needs it will address
  • Benefits of the new software and departments impacted
  • Cost of the new assessment solution
  • Implementation timeline
  • Return on investment (ROI) – see above

When developing the business case, it is important to keep in mind the audience that will be reviewing it. The business case should be tailored to the decision-makers in the room and should be aligned, if possible, to their strategic objectives and current focus.

For example, if the decision-makers are focused on cost savings, the business case should highlight the cost savings associated with the new assessment software.

Pre-Selling (optional, but recommended)

One of the best ways to ensure the success of your business case presentation is a concept called pre-selling.  The idea with this step is to understand how each decision-maker is likely to react to the business case in advance of the presentation.  

Request a meeting with each of the decision-makers in advance and walk them through a summarized version of the presentation.  Your goal here is to bring them up to speed on what you are presenting and why it should be important to them specifically.  Ask for feedback and input – what would they like to see in the presentation that isn’t there? What surprised them and why?  

By involving them in the creation of the final deck, you will get a chance to sell them in a setting you can more easily control., avoid any surprises in the broader meeting and be able to better expect and answer any questions or concerns that might arise during the presentation.

Present the Business Case

Once you have developed the business case, it is time to present it to the decision-makers. It is important to prepare for the presentation by anticipating questions or concerns that decision-makers may have (see above!). 

TIP: You can also invite key stakeholders to attend the presentation to provide support for the new assessment software purchase.  If a particular hiring manager is struggling to retain top talent in a given role, having them speak to this challenge and the financial implications in this setting can be very impactful.

During the presentation, it is important to focus on the benefits of the new assessment solution and how it will address the identified need. It is also important to be transparent about the costs associated with the new software and the implementation timeline. 

Address Concerns

Decision-makers may have concerns or objections to the new assessment software purchase. It is important to address these concerns and objections to ensure that the decision-makers are comfortable with the purchase. 

Some common concerns include:

  • Cost: Decision-makers may be concerned about the cost of the new solution. It is important to provide a clear understanding of the costs associated (both platform as well as services) and any cost savings that may result from the purchase (this is where the ROI model you built as part of the business plan comes into play).
  • Implementation: Decision-makers may be concerned about the implementation timeline or the impact on existing systems. It is important to provide a clear understanding of the implementation timeline and any potential impact on existing systems
  • Training: Decision-makers may be concerned about the need for employee training on the new solution. It is important to provide a clear understanding of the training required and any costs associated with it.  Vendors like HighMatch offer training both on the platform and on how the data should be used by Hiring Managers
  • Integration: Decision-makers may be concerned about the integration of the new software with existing systems. It is important to provide a clear understanding of how the new software will integrate with existing systems. HighMatch provides a system integration framework as part of our regular sales process that helps to address this concern.

Follow Up

After the presentation, it is important to follow up with decision-makers to address any remaining concerns and to provide additional information if needed.  You can also use this opportunity to gather feedback on the presentation and the business case. 

When following-up, it is important to be clear about the desired timeline, noting when approval is required in order to hit the desired launch time frame.  Most software projects get stalled after the initial presentation, primarily due to soft approval deadlines.  Get a firm commitment to provide and “up or down” vote on moving forward from decision-makers, and you’ll be more likely to get approval and get started in your desired timeframe.

HighMatch is Here to Help         Our marketing and sales team have helped countless clients build their case internally for assessment adoption, and we can absolutely help you with yours.  From creating slides in the presentation to providing sample assessments, ROI models to access to Workplace Psychologists, all you have to do is ask!  Connect with Sales today!