Top HR Buying Trends of 2015: Decision Making Advice for 2016

November 25, 20157:56 am543 views

It is that time of the year, when HR departments make crucial buying decisions for 2016 and to guide them further, fisher VISTA has released its “2015 HR Buying Trends Report,” a 12-page review, which gathers intelligence on the purchasing habits, preferences and budgets of buyers throughout the HR marketplace.

Key findings according to the survey reveal:

  • HR spending outlook is strong in particular categories. More than 40% of respondents plan to spend more per employee in the next 12 months on manager training, employee training, employee benefits, and rewards and recognition.
  • Buyers are turning back to peers when researching vendors. Online searches had been the top choice in recent years but canvassing peers is now the number one way buyers begin the researching/purchasing process (40%).
  • 9% of HR buyers use search engines at least once per month to find HR information, followed by Linkedin (66.9%), trade magazines (65.1%) and webinars (64.4%). This supports the value of blogging (important for being found in search engines), of being active on social media, of earning media placements or advertising in trade magazines, and of holding occasional webinars.

HR buying trends 2015_1

It may not be what vendor CEOs want to hear, but the fact is, to build a brand and cut through the noise, you need a multi-faceted strategy that includes many different marketing activities.

The report also sheds light on various factors that impact purchasing decisions, the social platforms HR buyers value most, how likely they are to fill out registration forms when downloading content, the percentage of HR trade-show attendees that visit exhibition halls, and more.

See: Impact of HR Cloud Services on Business Spending

Katrina Busselle, fisher VISTA’s Vice President of Client Services said, “As always, this report helps HR marketers better understand their buyers’ purchasing habits and preferences that are always evolving. And, in some instances, the findings are surprising and may even have marketers rethinking on some of their decisions for 2016.”

This report is filled with invaluable insights for making truly informed decisions to improve strategy, selection of tactics and allocating budget. It’s impossible to say for sure, but we believe the HR marketplace has become so crowded and cluttered that buyers are struggling to sort through the marketing noise, leading them to turn to peers whose opinions they trust.

The takeaway for marketers: consider creating more case studies showing how companies are using your products to solve real business challenges. LinkedIn’s reputation as the dominant social media network for business is deserved. While barely more than one in 10 HR buyers surveyed said they never use LinkedIn for business, more than one in three said they didn’t use each of the other social networks.

That said, we were somewhat surprised by how many HR buyers reported using Facebook for business reasons (63.2%), and how frequently they said they do so (31.9% reported using it at least weekly for business).

HR buying trends 2015_2

What’s notable is brand familiarity is highly important for products and services that are associated with risk and compliance, such as payroll services (56.2% said very important), background screening (45.7%) and applicant tracking systems (35.0%). This makes sense, since buyers can’t afford to choose the wrong vendors.

Also read: Top 10 Disruptive HR Technology Trends for 2016

Image credit: softwareadvice.com

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