I think I have made a huge mistake. Every year, we ask numerous associations, vendors and periodicals to distribute an invitation to our annual CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey. This survey looks at the adoption of 30+ HCM applications, how they are being deployed, and then analyzes the value organizations are achieving from their adoption. Last year, we collected over 1,200 usable responses and the year before ~900. This year’s survey, the 16th annual survey, went live on May 13th and so far at the half way point, we’re running behind. So, what’s going on?
Last year was an election year, and I think people wanted their voices to be heard, if even through a survey. Plus we had some vendors distribute the survey for the first time to their customers last year that we’d never had before. (The first year with a new distribution channel often leads to the largest number of responses.) Or, perhaps this year is truly different and more organizations know what they want to be doing next with HR technologies. I’ve always thought that people respond to a survey when they are truly interested in the topic because they are making some decisions. Maybe organizations have already decided to do an upgrade, or decided to replace their HRMS – one of the biggest decisions we see organizations making these days and so their interest in our survey declines. Or perhaps they are over-inundated with surveys.
Certainly the top five reasons to participate are similar to last year with respondents getting a free advance copy and great opportunities for rewards.
And, I might add that this year the survey looks better than ever. We have a new user interface, lots of conditional logic so you don’t answer questions you don’t need to, you have access to your last year’s responses if you’ve responded before, and more. And while we cover similar questions to last year, we are also deeply exploring the state of integration. And, geek that I am, I’m excited about our new way of looking at the value chain from adopting HR technologies to ultimately impacting strategic outcomes.
But, I think my big mistake and main reason we’re not getting as many responses this year as last is that we left out a quote from Bill Kutik from our survey letter (all in an attempt to shorten our messages). Bill Kutik is a former New York Times reporter, currently a technology columnist for Human Resource Executive®for 25 years and the co-chair for the HR Technology Conference. He’s long been a fan of the survey because it answers his most burning industry questions.
My bad, Bill. In case it’s not too late, here’s what Bill said in our letter:
“Doing a survey is easy. Doing a survey that the HR community trusts and lines up to learn the results takes an indefatigable Queen Bee like Lexy Martin, who for 16 years has sweated, wheedled, and cajoled responses. As a result the annual CedarCrestone survey is the most authoritative in North America if not the world.”