with so many HR tech innovations on offer, where do you start?

Modern businesses exist at a time of unprecedented technological growth and innovation. HR tech, in particular, is evolving faster than ever, offering you an increasingly diverse range of solutions and tools to manage, engage and optimize your workforce.

From people analytics and cloud-based payroll management to applicant tracking software and AI, the extensive array of technologies available puts HR managers in a strong position.

However, the process of identifying the right tech deployments for your business isn't necessarily an easy one. How do you determine where your organization would benefit the most from innovation, and which investments are the most likely to pay off?

Here are some key steps that can simplify the job of making these decisions...

identify business pain points

One of the most powerful reasons to invest in new technologies for your business is to deliver performance improvements where they are most needed.

Start by identifying the most common pain points for your organization, whether it's barriers to productivity in certain teams, questions about the effectiveness of talent development or difficulties in finding the right job candidates.

Once you have a clear idea of where the company can make valuable improvements, you will be in a stronger position to make informed, targeted buying decisions that deliver clear return on investment (ROI).

In an article for Entrepreneur, Jonathan Herrick, co-founder of sales and marketing software firm Hatchbuck, said it's important to invest 'only in technology that fills a hole or makes business sense'.

ask your people what they really need

The people within your organization - and particularly in your HR team - are an invaluable source of insight into where the greatest inefficiencies lie and where new investment and innovation are most needed.

Existing employees should be encouraged to share their opinions on the technologies they believe would be most beneficial to the business and would help them do their jobs.

While it might not be possible to meet all of the various requests you're likely to receive, the feedback could highlight common areas where everyone agrees tech upgrades would prove beneficial.

As far as HR and recruitment technologies are concerned, feedback from those on the frontline could help to inform investments that will shape the future of the company. If your HR team members feel they could be making better use of people data, for example, it might be time to look into new reporting and analytics tools.

Crunchr, one of the visionary firms supported by the Randstad Innovation Fund, is an example of a platform that could help employers evolve through targeted analytics and actionable workforce insights.

learn from the experiences of others

Studying the competition can be a key element in the success of a business. It's important to know your competitors well so you have a clear idea of the threat they pose to your organization, but also to learn from times they have experienced success and failure.

As well as examining core factors such as product or service offerings, pricing, market positioning and marketing strategies, you should find out as much as you can about how your fellow companies have executed their technology investments and the benefits they achieved.

Of course, any conclusions you take away from this should be used purely to inform your own strategy. It's crucial to plan your HR tech investments based on your firm's specific goals, challenges and requirements, and the past experiences of other firms provide no guarantees of what could happen in the future.

Nevertheless, there is a lot to be gained from doing your research on how particular technologies have performed for other organizations and if they could prove beneficial for you.

consider how new tech will impact your firm

Making major changes to your HR tech stack could have a significant impact on the nature of your business and how it operates. Before committing to an investment, make sure the entire organization - from the most senior decision-makers to the newest recruits - is aware of the forthcoming deployments and their wider significance.

One of the clearest examples is artificial intelligence, an area of innovation that could ultimately transform core processes such as talent acquisition and candidate screening.

Before committing to major investments in this space, you should feel confident that your workforce is prepared and the necessary training and skills development initiatives are in place to help workers put their expertise to use in this fast-moving era.

By evaluating every potential HR tech deployment in context of the unique nature of your organization and your workforce, you can achieve the best possible ROI and ensure your business is prepared for the future.