When a CTO Says No to Change, Try These Five Tactics

When a CTO Says No to Change, Try These Five Tactics

By RJ Frasca

Change management is one of the most painful areas for businesses. Experts claim change management strategies fail up to 70% of the time. Yet, no organization can move forward without change.

HR decision-makers may hear “no” more than they hear “yes” when proposing new or different solutions to address pain points or merely improve efficiencies, particularly from the technology side of the house.

Viewing this situation through a CTO’s lens ahead of time may clarify some of these potential objections and help highlight how to best manage this huge undertaking.

RJ Frasca, Vice President of Product and Marketing at EBI, offers five suggestions to help HR teams advocate for effective change.

Common Pitfalls

It’s important to understand the pitfalls most organizations run into when tackling change.

Often, these mistakes involve approaching projects from a technology system upgrade perspective while hoping to achieve business goals. However, the upgrade should be approached concurrently as an opportunity to review and optimize underlying business processes. A truly successful change management project will rely on technology, process, and human elements.

So how can HR professionals advocate internally for change while addressing a CTO’s valid objections and ensuring the best chance of success? Below are some of the most common objections to change management and tips to overcome these objections and advocate for upgraded solutions.

With hiring surging right now, let’s use one of the fastest-growing elements of the recruiting process — background screening — to highlight this change management conversation.

Objection #1: It Is Too Expensive

Solution: Take the time to do homework when looking at current real costs. Make sure to account for service level, internal resource time and cost, lost opportunity, etc. Map out the business case clearly and concisely, so decision-makers have a clear understanding before looking at solutions as an apples-to-apples switch. For example, the cost of a bad hire because of a faulty background check in money, time, and culture will eventually exceed the rapidity with which they were hired in the first place.

Objection #2: It Is Too Much Work. Tackling Another Project Now Isn’t Possible.

Solution: Break the project into easily understandable stages. Identify all resources necessary within an organization needed for each stage. Work with vendors who take a professional services approach to delivery and complement and manage those resource asks. Set expectations for resource asks through each phase and define the process as clearly as possible.

In the screening industry, this means locating a background check company that has a transition framework and dedicated transition management team. The company should be able to identify needs and challenges and assist with pre-planning, due diligence, efficiency planning, IT integration, readiness and adoption, and post-launch review and optimization.

Objection #3: Learning a New Solution Will Be Too Challenging

Solution: Understand and prepare a training plan prior to implementing any change. A good vendor will help create a training plan that caters to a company’s current process. Because of the screening industry’s focus on compliance, it’s important to look for these four distinct levels of support and service while learning a new solution: advocacy, implementation, integration, and oversight. Once a training plan aligns with the process, employees can easily be brought up to speed with a new solution in a seamless and successful transition.

Objection #4: “If It Isn’t Broke, Don’t Fix It.”

Solution: There is comfort in the familiar so sticking with “ABC Company” is a pragmatic choice. It may not, however, be the best one to optimize a company’s current situation. Organizations need to be agile and flexible when faced with change management. In a hiring surge, for instance, it’s critical a screening company can handle an increased caseload of job applicants. If “ABC Company” cannot meet these new expectations, refer to the business plan built out for Objection #1. Present a clear strategic vision of the proposed positive impact on the organization. Building excitement and advocacy around the project early on will be key to its’ ultimate success.

Objection #5: How Long Until Results Are Evident? Is It Worth Doing This Right Now?

Solution: Ultimately, the solution is about achieving a business objective. Therefore, create clear goals, both short and long-term; define what success looks like for each department and how the solution meets these parameters. Pitching a new solution based on a dollar amount or resource load alone fails to demonstrate a return on investment in its entirety. Instead, view the solution from a variety of angles and show how it solves each department’s pain point. In background screening, for example, it’s important to show how a solution will reduce HR’s workload, improve the candidate experience, save long-term hiring costs by reducing negligent turnover, and seamlessly integrate with existing recruiting software.

SaaS subscription and shifting software solutions have flooded the market. New competitors seem to pop up every day. However, to bring change to an organization, it’s critical to partner with a vendor that focuses less on delivering a “project” on time and under budget and more on delivering an outcome that achieves specific business objectives. Taking it a step further, any new solution vendor should provide support in presenting the value proposition of the project, share the workload in pitching change, and ensure success.

Being able to answer these objections will help any HR professional outline goals and financial and resource investments to organizational leadership. This exercise helps develop a better vision for how technology, process, and staff can be utilized for the best possible outcome and meets the demands each department leader may put forth.

Safe and Smart Screening with EBI

EBI is widely known for delivering safer and smarter background checks that improve operational efficiencies across HR and IT departments. And we have a dedicated integration migration team to support your unique needs. For more information on our award-winning background check services, contact us today.

*A version of this article originally appeared in Toolbox, a thought leadership platform with an audience of millions of technology professionals.  

About the Author

RJ Frasca

RJ Frasca

RJ Frasca is Vice President of Marketing and Product of EBI Inc., a leading background screening provider. Frasca brings more than 20 years of marketing and product experience with companies such as Yahoo, Microsoft, Time Warner, and Verizon.

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