You Get What You Pay For – iBTR

You Get What You Pay For

February 16, 2022

The big takeaway from our 2021 BTR Summit conference was: “‘free’ is the new F-word.” Each year, we host brokers, vendors, and other stakeholders in the HR tech space to come together and explore market issues and trends. It was during our 2021 Summit that our attendees were in unanimous agreement that “free” is never “free” and there’s a cost to good HR technology.

“Free” can come at a high cost. Free software is typically underwhelming with many limitations, requiring more manual effort which is inefficient. This type of “free” is not the kind of “free” employers need. Employers should consider the cost associated with lost productivity for poor-performing software as well as manual tasks to make the software perform as desired.

Your Vendor is Your Partner

Careful selection and familiarization of HR tech partners help employers to avoid the pitfalls of free software. I don’t use the word “partner” lightly; HR technology should be a true partner to the organization who understands the business goals and initiatives, providing guidance and support to help business leaders accomplish both.

A true HR Technology partner will carry many of these characteristics:

  • Won’t sell you services you don’t need
  • Won’t dilute customer support—regardless of cost or discounts for their software.
  • Will tell you things you may not want to hear.
    • For example, a partner may push back an implementation timeline because they are looking out for your interests and know that your reputation with your employees is essential to your brand.
  • Will do it right rather than doing it fast
  • Will outline what you can accomplish within the timeline
  • Will help prioritize your HR technology and benefit administration goals which improves confidence with the approach and roadmap.
  • Will plan to Go Live on time, recognizing that hope is not a strategy.

Employers should also consider the service model of their partner. BTR generally advises against the “service tiers” model because we believe every organization should get the best service regardless of the invoice’s bottom figure.

Expertise to Support Your Business Goals

Employers also need to recognize that each organization has unique needs that may vary from their industry counterparts. A tailored solution is typically going to out-perform a “plug & play” software when it comes to meeting business objectives. Business leaders can leverage a team with technology knowledge & expertise to design a strategically-tailored solution.

Help with Your HR Tech Strategy

The “you get what you pay for” principle applies to most HR technology products and services but is especially true with benefits administration. The good news is that employer organizations are becoming smarter and more sophisticated buyers. HR leaders increasingly understand that purchasing the right technology from the right partner saves time and money over the long term (and oftentimes in the short run, too). Still, the HR tech sector is large and complex. Even experienced buyers struggle to stay on top of the market.

Our team focuses on HR technology solutions every day. We know the market and work with insurance brokers to help employers achieve their business goals through best-fit HR technology solutions and vendor partnerships. The BTR team is happy to assist with your organization’s HR technology strategy—email to get started!

About the Author

Kate Taylor is BTRs President & COO, she supports BTR’s directors and managers with operational initiatives, team development, and strategic growth.  Kate has successfully developed and led the BTR benefits administration division since its inception in 2010.  She has held nearly every role and has worked exclusively with benefits administration for over 12 years.