How to write great content about HR technology

How do you balance the "human" with the "technology" when you're writing about HR tech? Katy has seven suggestions.

HR tech

In the past few years, organisations have started to embed more tech into their employee relations processes – using tools to centralise case management and self-service portals to engage employees.

That’s led to a crowded HR tech market. To stand out, you need content that’s sharp, relevant, and reflects the reality your audience faces at work.

In short, don’t be so focused on the “tech” part of the equation that you forget about the “human” bit of “human resources”.

Here are seven suggestions to help you get it right:

1. Understand your audience, and their skills

Globally, an average of just 45% of those in the people profession say that “human resources” describes their role most accurately.

That means there’s a lot of generalists working in the industry, especially in smaller organisations, and they’ll likely be most interested in tools that can make the more complex parts of their role easier.

Specialists, on the other hand, will be looking for hyper-specific tools that are catered directly to their skills, like learning and development.

Only a third of HR professionals say they have the skills to cope with more demanding duties beyond their current roles – which is the perfect starting point if the solution you’re marketing can ease their workload.

2. Recognise that all workloads aren’t created equal

It’s worth considering how busy your target audience is, and the size of the business makes a huge difference.

Small to medium-sized organisations often have a better HR-to-employee ratio – almost four in ten report having 1:20 or fewer, while a similar proportion of large enterprises have 1:100 or more.

Because larger organisations are more likely to stretch their HR resource, each exec will be dealing with far more people and have even less time to manage each case. So pay attention to that ratio, and consider how it affects their day-to-day role – and how your solution can help.

3. Don’t forget about line managers

HR tools aren’t just for HR personnel – and that means they might not be your only audience. A lot of employee relations tools affect the working lives of direct and line managers, who often handle frontline HR responsibilities like absenteeism.

For HR personnel, a key part of the role is equipping line managers to work effectively with their people, which in turn reduces the number of cases that need to be escalated to formal procedures. So, make sure your message clearly communicates how the benefits of your solution filter down through the reporting levels.

4. Balance the needs of people and the business

This is an incredibly complicated Venn diagram. While most departments in a business will be trying to balance profit with people’s happiness, HR is the place where those two factors face off directly – and an organisation’s HR personnel are caught in the middle.

A great HR tech proposition sits in the sweet centre spot where the circles overlap and you can help them support their people meaningfully while meeting their business goals.

The trick to writing effective HR tech content is to keep one eye on the business (processes, efficiency and cost savings) and the other on the people (employee satisfaction and engagement).

Research suggesting that happy workers are 13% more productive can help unify the two ideas. Which reminds me…

5. Statistics make for compelling messages

HR is a stat-friendly industry – and social proof is always a compelling way to communicate your message.

There’s always new research to draw on, both from the big analysts like Gartner and specialists like the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

For example, Gartner’s recent HR report, Top 5 HR Trends and Priorities for 2021, includes responses from more than 800 CHROs and other HR leaders from 60 countries, while CIPD has an extensive collection of research papers and articles covering all sorts of HR topics.

If you’re trying to get into the same headspace as your audience, that’s a good place to start – and a stat-packed infographic is always a good way to tip a prospect over the edge of the funnel.

6. Don’t get bogged down by tech talk

Fundamentally, HR is about the people. And that means you shouldn’t get shoulder-deep in the tech weeds (most of the time, anyway).

However, focusing on the people doesn’t mean ignoring the technical aspects of a solution entirely. When you talk around technology too much, you risk getting vague – and then you lose the sense of authority you’ve been working so hard to build.

So, work to establish the right level of detail for your target audience, whether they’re the CHRO, an HR manager, or a direct manager, clearly linking features to benefits. (Which, let’s face it, is best practice when you’re writing for any industry.)

7. Use writers that know the industry

It sounds like a cheeky point, but it’s true. Through our years of writing tech marketing for HR, we’ve learned a few things about what works (and what doesn’t).

Visit our HR tech sector page to see more about how we write compelling, valuable content for the HR industry – and which content types we think work best for getting your message across.

And, as always, if you have a product or service to sell to HR and lack the copywriter (or time) to do it, you can always ask us.


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