HR Tech ROI: 10 Steps to Build a Business Case

published on 30 April 2024

To maximize the ROI of HR technology investments, you need a strong business case that clearly explains the strategic objectives, financial benefits, and operational improvements. Here are the key steps:

  1. Assess Current HR Tech: Audit your existing HR systems and processes to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement. Compare your performance to industry benchmarks.

  2. Set HR Tech KPIs: Define measurable targets aligned with business goals, such as employee productivity, satisfaction, and turnover rates.

  3. Analyze Financial Impact: Calculate the potential ROI by comparing the investment costs with the expected benefits, such as cost savings and revenue enhancements.

  4. Choose HR Tech Vendors: Evaluate and compare vendors based on factors like features, costs, compatibility, user reviews, and scalability.

  5. Quantify HR Tech Benefits: Measure both tangible benefits (reduced processing times, error rates, compliance risks) and intangible benefits (improved employee satisfaction, organizational learning culture).

  6. Communicate with Stakeholders: Craft a clear narrative that resonates with stakeholders, highlighting the investment's alignment with business priorities and addressing concerns.

  7. Identify and Manage Risks: Assess potential risks like technological obsolescence, data security, integration issues, and user adoption. Develop mitigation strategies.

  8. Plan Implementation Timeline: Create a rollout strategy with defined phases, involving cross-functional teams for a smooth transition.

  9. Track and Improve Performance: Monitor performance metrics, refine the HR technology stack based on data, and continuously optimize for evolving business needs.

  10. Review Implementation: Analyze the actual outcomes, calculate the realized ROI, document lessons learned, and plan for continuous improvement.

By following these steps and using a data-driven approach, HR professionals can build a compelling business case and maximize the ROI of their HR technology investments.

Step 1: Assess Current HR Tech

Audit Current HR Systems

To build a strong business case for HR technology investments, start by assessing your current HR systems and processes. This involves evaluating the current state of your HR technology stack, identifying inefficiencies, and pinpointing areas for improvement.

Conduct a Thorough Audit

To conduct a thorough audit, follow these steps:

1. Map out your current HR processes: Identify all the HR processes currently in place, including recruitment, onboarding, performance management, and benefits administration.

2. Evaluate your current HR systems: Assess the HR technology systems you're currently using, including HR information systems (HRIS), applicant tracking systems (ATS), and performance management software.

3. Identify pain points and inefficiencies: Determine where your current systems and processes are causing bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or frustration for employees and HR staff.

4. Calculate the costs of your current systems: Evaluate the total cost of ownership for your current HR systems, including licensing fees, maintenance costs, and any additional expenses.

By conducting a thorough audit of your current HR systems and processes, you'll be able to identify areas for improvement, prioritize your needs, and set a benchmark for comparison with potential new HR technology investments.

Compare to Industry Standards

Once you've audited your current HR systems and processes, compare your organization's performance to industry standards. This will help you gauge your current performance levels and identify opportunities for improvement.

Industry Benchmarks to Consider

Benchmark Description
HR technology adoption rates Compare your organization's adoption of HR technology to industry averages.
HR process efficiency metrics Evaluate your organization's HR process efficiency metrics, such as time-to-hire, employee turnover rates, and benefits administration costs, against industry benchmarks.
Employee engagement and satisfaction Compare your organization's employee engagement and satisfaction rates to industry averages, using metrics such as employee net promoter scores (eNPS) or Glassdoor ratings.

By comparing your organization's performance to industry standards, you'll be able to identify areas for improvement, prioritize your needs, and make a stronger business case for HR technology investments.

Step 2: Set HR Tech KPIs

Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) is a crucial step in building a business case for HR technology investments. KPIs help you determine what you're trying to accomplish with your HR initiatives and establish goalposts to measure success.

Define Measurable Targets

To set effective KPIs, you need to define measurable targets that resonate with your organizational goals. This involves identifying the specific metrics that will help you evaluate the success of your HR initiatives.

Common HR Tech KPIs

Metric Description
Absence rate The percentage of employees absent from work
Absence cost The total cost of employee absences
90-day quit rate The percentage of employees who leave within 90 days
Benefits satisfaction score Employee satisfaction with benefits
Employee productivity rate The rate at which employees complete tasks
Employee satisfaction index A measure of overall employee satisfaction
Net Promoter Score A measure of employee loyalty
Voluntary Turnover Rate The percentage of employees who leave voluntarily

Align KPIs with Business Goals

It's essential to ensure that your HR tech KPIs align seamlessly with your broader business strategies and contribute to overarching organizational objectives. This involves identifying the specific business goals that your HR initiatives are designed to support.

Example Alignment

Business Goal HR Tech KPI
Improve employee engagement Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)
Reduce turnover Voluntary Turnover Rate
Increase productivity Employee productivity rate

By defining measurable targets and aligning them with your business goals, you can create a clear roadmap for success and make data-driven decisions to drive business growth.

Step 3: Analyze Financial Impact

To build a strong business case for HR technology investments, you need to demonstrate the potential cost savings and revenue enhancements.

Calculate ROI

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) of HR technology, use this simple formula:

ROI = (Net Gain / Cost) x 100


  • Net Gain is the difference between the benefits and costs of the HR technology investment.
  • Cost is the total investment in the HR technology, including implementation, maintenance, and support costs.

For example, if the cost of implementing an HRIS is $100,000, and it results in a net gain of $150,000 through increased productivity and reduced turnover, the ROI would be:

ROI = ($150,000 / $100,000) x 100 = 150%

Cost-Benefit Examples

Here are some hypothetical examples of cost-benefit scenarios:

HR Technology Cost Benefit ROI
HRIS $100,000 $150,000 150%
Recruitment Software $50,000 $75,000 150%
Performance Management Tool $20,000 $30,000 150%

In each of these examples, the ROI is significant, indicating that the HR technology investment is likely to generate a positive financial return.

By analyzing the financial impact of HR technology investments, you can make informed decisions about which initiatives to prioritize and how to allocate your budget effectively.

Step 4: Choose HR Tech Vendors

Selecting the right HR tech vendors is crucial in building a strong business case for HR technology investments. With many options available, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your organization's needs and a structured approach to evaluating potential vendors.

Compare Vendors

When comparing HR tech vendors, consider the following factors:

Factor Description
Features Do the vendor's solutions align with your organization's HR goals and objectives?
Costs What are the total costs of ownership, including implementation, maintenance, and support costs?
Compatibility Will the vendor's solutions integrate seamlessly with your existing HR systems and infrastructure?
User Reviews What do other customers say about the vendor's solutions and customer support?
Scalability Will the vendor's solutions grow with your organization, or will they become outdated quickly?

You can use tools like PeopleStrong's HR-Tech 4.0 platform to compare vendors and streamline your evaluation process.

Vendor Selection Criteria

When selecting an HR tech vendor, consider the following key criteria:

Criteria Description
Cost-Efficiency Does the vendor offer a cost-effective solution that aligns with your budget?
User Reviews What do other customers say about the vendor's solutions and customer support?
Scalability Will the vendor's solutions grow with your organization, or will they become outdated quickly?
Integration Does the vendor's solution integrate seamlessly with your existing HR systems and infrastructure?
Security Does the vendor have robust security measures in place to protect your organization's data?

By evaluating potential vendors based on these criteria, you can make an informed decision about which solutions are best suited to your organization's needs.

Step 5: Quantify HR Tech Benefits

To build a strong business case for HR technology investments, it's essential to assess both tangible and intangible gains for a comprehensive ROI evaluation.

Measure Tangible Benefits

Identify quantifiable advances such as reduced processing times, error rates, and compliance risks. When quantifying HR tech benefits, focus on measurable outcomes that can be directly attributed to the investment.

Tangible Benefit Description
Reduced processing times Automating manual HR processes can significantly reduce the time spent on tasks.
Error rate reduction Implementing HR technology can minimize errors in data entry, compliance, and reporting.
Compliance risk reduction HR tech solutions can help organizations stay compliant with regulatory requirements.

To quantify these benefits, track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as processing time, error rates, and compliance metrics before and after implementing HR technology.

Evaluate Intangible Benefits

Capture the qualitative, less measurable benefits, such as improved employee satisfaction and organizational learning culture.

Intangible Benefit Description
Improved employee satisfaction HR technology can provide employees with a better user experience, increasing engagement and job satisfaction.
Organizational learning culture Implementing HR tech solutions can foster a culture of continuous learning and development.
Enhanced employer branding Organizations that invest in HR technology can improve their employer brand, attracting top talent and improving retention rates.

To evaluate intangible benefits, conduct surveys, focus groups, and interviews to gather feedback from employees, managers, and stakeholders. This qualitative data can provide valuable insights into the impact of HR technology on the organization's culture and overall performance.

Step 6: Communicate with Stakeholders

To secure stakeholder buy-in for your HR technology investment, effective communication is key. In this step, we'll explore how to craft a clear narrative and engage with key decision-makers.

Create a Clear Narrative

Develop a narrative that resonates with stakeholders by combining data with relatable stories. This narrative should clearly explain the benefits of the HR technology investment, highlighting how it aligns with business priorities and addresses specific pain points.

Tips for creating a clear narrative:

  • Use storytelling techniques to share relatable scenarios that illustrate the challenges your organization faces without the HR technology investment.
  • Highlight key metrics, such as cost savings, productivity gains, or employee satisfaction improvements, to demonstrate the ROI of the investment.
  • Emphasize how the HR technology investment supports strategic business objectives.

Engage Stakeholders

Engage with key decision-makers to ensure they understand the value proposition of the HR technology investment. This involves showcasing the alignment of the investment with business priorities and addressing any concerns or questions they may have.

Tips for engaging stakeholders:

Action Description
Schedule meetings Arrange meetings with key stakeholders to discuss the business case and address any questions or concerns they may have.
Provide transparent information Share detailed information about the investment, including costs, benefits, and implementation timelines.
Address concerns Proactively address any concerns or objections stakeholders may have, providing evidence and data to support your claims.

By crafting a clear narrative and engaging with stakeholders, you'll be well on your way to securing the necessary buy-in for your HR technology investment.


Step 7: Identify and Manage Risks

When building a business case for HR technology investments, it's essential to identify and manage potential risks associated with the investment. This step helps ensure that your organization is prepared to mitigate any potential downsides and maximize the ROI of the investment.

Assess Risks

Identify potential risks that may impact your HR technology investment. Some common risks include:

Risk Description
Technological obsolescence The technology becomes outdated or obsolete, rendering it ineffective or incompatible with other systems.
Data security concerns The risk of data breaches or unauthorized access to sensitive employee information.
Integration issues The new technology does not integrate seamlessly with existing systems, resulting in inefficiencies or data inconsistencies.
User adoption Employees may resist or struggle to adopt the new technology, reducing its effectiveness.

Mitigate Risks

To mitigate these risks, develop a risk management strategy that includes:

Mitigation Strategy Description
Vendor due diligence Conduct thorough research on potential vendors to ensure they have a proven track record of delivering reliable and secure solutions.
Data governance policies Establish clear policies and procedures for data management and security to minimize the risk of data breaches or unauthorized access.
Phased implementation Implement the technology in phases to minimize disruption and ensure that any issues are identified and addressed early on.
Change management Develop a comprehensive change management strategy to ensure that employees are adequately trained and supported during the transition to the new technology.

By identifying and managing potential risks, you can minimize the potential downsides of your HR technology investment and maximize its ROI.

Step 8: Plan Implementation Timeline

When building a business case for HR technology investments, it's crucial to plan a robust implementation timeline that ensures a smooth transition and minimizes disruption to your organization.

Create a Rollout Strategy

To ensure a successful rollout, break down the implementation process into manageable phases. This involves:

  • Identifying key stakeholders and their roles
  • Developing a training plan for employees
  • Integrating the new technology with existing systems
  • Establishing a timeline for each phase
Phase Description Timeline
Planning Identify stakeholders, develop training plan, and integrate with existing systems 2 weeks
Testing Test the new technology to ensure it meets requirements 4 weeks
Rollout Roll out the new technology to all employees 6 weeks
Evaluation Evaluate the success of the rollout and identify areas for improvement 2 weeks

Involve Cross-Functional Teams

Implementing new HR technology requires collaboration and input from various departments. It's essential to involve these teams early on to ensure a smooth transition.

  • IT teams: provide insights into system integration and infrastructure requirements
  • Finance teams: help with budgeting and cost-benefit analysis
  • Legal teams: ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and data privacy laws

By involving cross-functional teams, you can leverage their expertise, identify potential roadblocks, and develop a comprehensive implementation plan that meets the needs of your organization.

Step 9: Track and Improve Performance

To ensure the HR technology investment yields the expected returns, it's crucial to establish a system for regular performance tracking and make necessary adjustments.

Monitor Performance Metrics

Implement tools and processes to measure the success of the HR technology against set key performance indicators (KPIs). This includes:

Metric Description
Time-to-hire Monitor the time it takes to fill open positions
Cost-per-hire Track the cost of recruiting and hiring new employees
Employee engagement Measure employee satisfaction and engagement
Turnover rates Monitor the rate of employee turnover

Refine and Improve the HR Technology

Based on performance data, refine the HR technology stack to address areas for improvement. This involves:

Step Description
Identify areas for improvement Analyze performance data to identify areas where the HR technology can be improved
Iterate and refine Refine the HR technology stack by incorporating new features, functionalities, or integrations
Continuous monitoring Continuously monitor the performance of the refined HR technology stack to ensure it meets evolving business needs

By tracking and improving the performance of the HR technology, organizations can ensure a strong return on investment, optimize their HR processes, and drive business success.

Step 10: Review Implementation

Analyze Outcomes

After implementing the new HR technology, it's essential to analyze the actual outcomes and compare them with the projected figures in the business case. This allows you to determine whether the investment is delivering the promised ROI and identify areas for further optimization.

Collect and Review Post-Implementation Data

  1. Gather data from various sources, including HR analytics, workforce management software, and employee surveys.
  2. Compare the actual performance metrics (e.g., time-to-hire, cost-per-hire, employee engagement, turnover rates) with the targets set in the business case.

Calculate the Realized ROI

  1. Quantify the tangible benefits, such as cost savings, productivity gains, and reduced turnover costs.
  2. Factor in the intangible benefits, such as improved employee experience and better compliance.
  3. Compare the total benefits with the investment costs to determine the actual ROI.

Identify Gaps and Opportunities

  1. If the realized ROI falls short of projections, analyze the root causes and identify areas for improvement.
  2. Assess whether the implementation process could have been more effective or if additional training or support is needed.
  3. Determine if the HR technology needs to be refined or if additional features or integrations are required.

Document Lessons and Plan Ahead

The implementation review process provides valuable insights that can inform future technology investment decisions and help optimize the selection and implementation processes.

Document Key Takeaways and Lessons Learned

  1. Capture insights from the implementation process, including challenges faced, successes achieved, and best practices.
  2. Gather feedback from stakeholders, including HR professionals, managers, and employees, to understand their perspectives.

Refine the Business Case and Selection Process

  1. Update the business case template with the lessons learned, ensuring more accurate projections and a more comprehensive risk assessment.
  2. Refine the vendor selection criteria and evaluation process based on the experiences with the current HR technology implementation.

Plan for Continuous Improvement

  1. Develop a roadmap for optimizing the HR technology stack, incorporating feedback and addressing identified gaps or opportunities.
  2. Establish a regular review cycle to monitor the performance of the HR technology and make necessary adjustments.

By thoroughly reviewing the implementation outcomes, documenting lessons learned, and planning for continuous improvement, organizations can maximize the ROI of their HR technology investments and drive long-term business success.

Conclusion: Maximize HR Tech ROI

Business Case Summary

To get the most out of HR technology investments, HR professionals need to build a strong business case. This involves clearly explaining the strategic objectives, financial benefits, and operational improvements that the HR technology will bring to the organization. It's also essential to provide a thorough analysis of the costs, risks, and potential return on investment.

Data-Driven Approach

To truly maximize the ROI of HR technology investments, HR professionals must use data and analytics to inform their decisions. This means measuring the effectiveness of HR initiatives, identifying areas for improvement, and driving business outcomes. By leveraging data and analytics, HR professionals can make informed decisions, optimize HR operations, and demonstrate the value of HR to the organization.


How to build a business case in HR?

To build a strong business case in HR, follow these 8 essential elements:

Element Description
1. Problem statement Clearly state the specific business problem
2. Background Provide context and relevant information
3. Project objectives Define the goals and outcomes
4. Current process Describe the current process or situation
5. Requirements Identify the necessary resources and support
6. Alternatives Explore alternative solutions or approaches
7. Compare alternatives Evaluate and compare the alternatives
8. Additional considerations Consider any additional factors or risks

What is the ROI metric for HR?

HR ROI (Return on Investment) measures the financial impact of HR programs and initiatives on an organization. It compares the value generated by HR initiatives to the costs associated with implementing those initiatives.

By using HR ROI, organizations can evaluate the effectiveness of their HR investments and make informed decisions about where to allocate resources.

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