Boston HR + Talent Acquisition Breakfast Recap: Buying New HR Tools

February 21, 2019


This morning many braved slush and ice…and navigated the many halls of the Copley mall to meet for a morning of discourse, bagels, and to gain a better understanding of the nuanced ballet of procuring new HR technology. Thank you brave souls!

Phil Strazzulla kicked it off with giving us some context to why we gathered here this morning: This is hard. Finding the technology to help break down barriers at your company is not for the faint of heart.

Splitting into three groups, the crew brainstormed for 90 seconds on tips and tricks on our 3 focus areas. With a lot of experience in this room, these are probably the most valuable Post Its in Boston this morning.

So, first let’s dive into our focus areas and the best practices for each.


Internal Stakeholder Management – Who do you need to work with, convince, and align with to get your new piece of technology implemented.


  • Try to get your biggest potential opponent on board as an advisor.  Will marketing block your new careers site? Get the VP of Marketing to give you advice on your employer branding so that they have a connection to your project.
  • Everyone’s stakeholders are DIFFERENT. The spectrum that the group needs to navigate is vastly different. With each anecdote shared, we discovered that even if companies are similar in size and scale, the contrasting stakeholder management was very bold.
  • Also, the way you interact with your stakeholders is different. From RFP’s to just asking.
  • You have to become an internal salesperson. You need to use language, methodologies, and concepts to sell your idea to YOUR people.
  • A cross functional buying council is a great way to get ideas for initiatives you care about, internal buy in, and ensure success in implementation.


Money – Not just budget, but also how to get the best pricing from your vendor.


  • Ask questions – there is a world of knowledge out there. Embrace the collective knowledge of your people. There’s a lot of camaraderie out there – people will help!
  • Challenge costs – little add ons are levers for savings. Ask for discounts. Do you think you’ll use it for a few years? Get a discount for signing a multi year contract.
  • Do you have a fixed budget?  Get a discount for paying up front for the year.
  • Work with your rep. Their goal is to get you as a customer (duh), and recurring revenue will always beat out little a la carte costs (you can probably get implementation costs waived for many solutions) . See it as you and the rep vs. the man ;).
  • A robust ROI analysis of where your new initiative will add value gets internal credibility and allows you to think deeply about how this project will succeed.


Vendor Selection + Diligence – The overwhelming “where do I start?” feeling, understanding of the marketplace/landscape, and whittling down to find a few competitors that ACTUALLY meet your needs.


  • Have a plan – evaluate each platform with the same rubric and qualities. Does this platform have your must haves? What does it integrate with? Will this compliment my existing systems? Will this meet my company’s needs down the road? This includes how you feel about your sales rep.
  • Use a mixture of personal relationships and review sites. The amalgam of sites like Capterra, G2, and your people will be the multi-layered inside skinny you’re looking for. Also, be wary of influencers as they are paid to push products many times.
  • A company that has raised a lot of money could be on the verge of bankruptcy.  A company that has never raised money could be profitable. Always try to dig a layer deeper.


See the full list below!

Congratulations to our winner for best tip, trick or idea:

“Get them to waive implementation fees.”

Many thanks again for joining this morning! It’s really phenomenally awesome when people step outside of their day-to-day, brave a cold, gross Boston morning. To surmise, buying new HR tech is a difficult process with many pitfalls, but remember that you’re not alone. As we all saw this morning, navigating this process is par for the course. There is help out there, however. Just like this breakfast this morning, likeminded problem solvers are happy to share their experiences and work together to accomplish our goals.

Thanks again to Phil and SelectSoftware for putting on this breakfast!

– Team kununu

About the sponsors:

kununu is the original employer rating platform and a leader in providing workplace insights that matter. With a bold commitment to creating true transparency in the job market kununu was founded in 2007, and has since collected over 3 million reviews globally from over 700,000 companies, including most of today’s biggest brands. Claim your company profile today. 

EBS, Employee Benefit Solutions is a boutique employee benefits advisory firm and a collaborative partner for HR, finance and operations leaders who lean on us to be a trusted resource in making their employee benefits programs more valuable. We work shoulder-to-shoulder with organizations to contain the rising costs of health insurance, meet the requirements of healthcare reform, enhance HR technologies to streamline benefits administration programs and develop corporate wellness initiatives based on unique company culture. In assessing your HR technology strategy – whether you are making changes to an existing HCM solution or navigating the buying or implementation process for the first time – EBS will arm you with vendor-agnostic, strategic guidance on how to make the best decisions for your organization while remaining compliant.


The full collection of Post Its:

Ted Cooke
Ted Cooke
I am the B2B Marketing Manager at kununu. I'm based in Boston and I love to bake.

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