For #HRTech Vendors, Partner Picking Insights in New Buying Trends Report

Get to know your partner’s reputation before you commit

If you are picking partners to help influence your target buyers, how much does word of mouth matter in today’s HR marketplace? Turns out it depends on who’s doing the speaking, according to fisher VISTA’s new Buying Trends Report.

The opinions of peers are “very important” to 46% of buyers of HR products and services—but this percentage drops to 28% regarding the opinions of analysts and influencers. This could explain the growing popularity of crowdsource review sites like TrustRadius and G2Crowd. However, when the report combines participants’ “very important” and “somewhat important” responses, the numbers pretty much even out at 96% for the opinions of peers and 91% for the opinions of analysts and influencers.

PartnershipIf you’re targeting larger companies as buyers, you’ll want to know that Presidents, CEOs and VPs find quite a bit of value in analysts. According to fisher VISTA this may be because the C-suite has more access to analysts and are more likely to have personal relationships with them. Executives are more likely to have access to analyst reports, which often are expensive and can be beyond the purchasing authority of non-executive buyers.

If you are focusing your solution stack (your products and your partner’s products) at the SMB companies, you’re probably better off focusing on crowdsource sites since the SMBs typically can’t afford, or won’t spend the money on, the analysts reports. Not to mention most analysts only focus on the larger, more expensive systems designed for larger companies. Why? There’s 10-20,000 HR Tech companies in the world and they have no way to track all of them!

Also worth noting: when sizing up your current or future partners, their brand reputation is the single most important factor that influences the purchasing decisions of HR buyers (98% very/somewhat important), even topping your rapport with buyers and the choices made by other companies. However, the importance of brand familiarity varies by product category; see the report for details.

Clearly, brand reputation and word of mouth still carry tremendous weight in the HR marketplace. One of the best ways you can improve both is by co-marketing your HR tech offerings with partners and peers. For instance:

  • Consider co-hosting webinars to attract a wider audience;
  • Instead of presenting solo at industry conferences and customer events, create roundtable discussions with your partners and trusted influencers;
  • Partner up on trade show booths;
  • Write joint press releases and pitch your collective expertise to journalists seeking subject matter expertise.

If you’re interested in gaining additional insights into HR buying trends, be sure to read the fisher VISTA report. And if you’d like to learn more about the tremendous potential of HR technology alliances, contact us.


About Ward Christman (HR Tech Advisor)

Ward Christman has 25+ years experience in HR technology and services with special expertise in employee referral, ATS solutions and job marketing (via job boards and social media). Ward has helped create dozens of successful partnerships between HR Tech companies. Career Summary: - Launched one of the first online job boards in 1992 (9 years) - Key member of HRsmart (ATS and TM) growth team (8 years) - Contributor to Lawson’s new HCM team (1 year) - First hire for Bullhorn’s corporate social recruiting platform (1 year) - Turnaround artist (Product Owner) for Kenexa’s 2xRecruit ATS (1 year) - Launchpad boosters for RolePoint’s entry into the Social Referral market - Founder, Chief Advisor and Publisher for HR Tech Advisor (2014) - Co-Founder of (2015) More details at

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