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Marriage holding hands.Hello HR Tech blog readers! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve taken the wheel, but after a huge life event, I’ve been doing some deep thinking and wanted to share. A little over a month ago, I married my true love! *Cue the doves and heart emojis.* After dating, getting engaged, planning our wedding, getting married and starting our married life, I can’t help but relate the process to that of an employer selecting, implementing and working with their HR Tech vendor. I know, I know, it sounds kind of cheesy. But let me explain …

First, let’s establish our roles:

  • Bride = HR Tech Vendor/Service Provider
  • Groom = Employer Client
  • Wedding Planner = Consultant/Project Manager

datingBefore marriage, you should probably start with dating or, in the case of HR Technology, start with the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase. This is your chance to really get to know your vendors (and yes, it’s still acceptable to “play the field” at this point). As with dating, during the RFP process you are trying to find out which vendor most closely aligns with the criteria you feel are most important. You can (and should) ask all of the questions that get right down to it, including price. Once you’ve narrowed your search and eliminated vendors (or suitors), you can move on to the next step: the finalist presentation process.

engagementNext is the proposal or the finalist presentations phase. During finalist presentations, you get a chance to see the system’s capabilities and user interface up close and personal and then decide: is this who I want to run my benefits, HR, payroll, etc., for the rest of my life? (Or three years depending on your contract terms.) We prefer onsite finalist presentations, because it’s nice to personally meet the service and implementation teams. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together, so it’s important to have a good cultural fit to potentially avoid personality or communication conflicts. Once you’ve chosen your perfect match, it’s time to make it official. It’s time for the groom/employer to get down on one knee and propose … to move forward with the relationship.

wedding planningSo he popped the question, and you are moving forward with the engagement. Now it’s time to plan the wedding or start the implementation process. Prior to wedding planning, some couples will agree to and sign a prenuptial agreement. Although a prenup is optional in a real marriage, we definitely recommend agreeing to a project plan with your vendor before an implementation and go-live.

A lot of planning and prep work goes into the implementation process, as with a wedding. As an engaged couple might do during a pre-marital counseling session with their officiant, it’s important to define successes and failures and make sure expectations are understood by both parties upfront. It’s also important to know that even the groom/employer is required to participate in the planning/implementation; it’s not solely on the bride/vendor. You don’t want to take the chance of ending up with a bridezilla if you don’t supply clean data timely!

weddingAnd finally, the actual wedding or system go-live is here! After months of planning and preparation, it’s time for this mutually beneficial relationship to be made official. Your new HR Tech system will be up and running and, hopefully, will create efficiencies, be easy for your employees and managers to use and utilize the functionality you always wanted. True love!

In most cases, the honeymoon phase eventually ends. It is highly likely your marriage will be tested at times. We find that some marriages between employers and HR Tech vendor can get a little (or a lot) rocky at points. The number one reason marriages fail is communication, which can be true for HR tech relationships as well. Sometimes it’s necessary to bring in a marriage counselor (aka a consultant or project manager like Lockton’s HR Technology and Outsourcing Practice) to help both parties understand expectations and figure out ways to resolve issues.

So if you are currently looking for your bride-to-be HR Tech solution, remember: it’s just like a marriage! If you think you might need some pre-marital counseling, wedding planning assistance or marriage counseling, Lockton is here to help! We wish you nothing but wedded bliss and a happily ever after!