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Tips on Buying HR Tech: A Conversation with Geoff Barlow

Geoff Barlow, Director of Talent Acquisition for Core + Main, shares his insights for buying HR Tech

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast
May 11, 2020
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We had the pleasure of talking to Geoff Barlow, Director of Talent Acquisition at Core & Main, about his experience buying HR Software, his favorite tools, and what he's learned that other TA/HR professionals shoud know.

There are a lot of nuggets in this conversation, here are some of the most impactful:

  • Geoff spends time actively understanding the problems that business leaders in his organization are grappling with when thinking through where to spend his time and efforts to improve the HR Tech stack of the Talent Acquisition team.
  • When looking at new initiatives, he builds an ROI analysis that associates a direct dollar amount with the value of a new tool. For example, his team bought a CRM and tied the value from this tool back to a lowered time to fill.
  • Geoff enlists the help of people from other parts of the organization to build his business case (getting the finance team to quantify the cost of vacancy per day), identify tools, and buy/implement.
  • Geoff makes sure the senior executives who could kill a deal will be on board before spending significant time to discover and vet vendors.

Lastly, we asked Geoff what HR Tech he thinks people should know about. He talked about thermal imaging tech to help screen people who may have contracted COVID-19, along with Phenom People which helps with the candidate experience as well as candidate relationship management and internal mobility.

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Phil Strazzulla

Phil is the founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, a website dedicated to helping HR and Recruiting teams find and buy the right software through in-depth, expert advice. He has bought over $1 million worth of HR and Recruiting tools. Additionally, as of 2022, nearly 3 million HR professionals have relied on his advice to determine which business software they should buy.

Phil studied finance at New York University and started his career working in venture capital before getting his MBA from Harvard Business School. His in-depth understanding of the Saas landscape, especially HR Tech, stems from nearly a decade of researching and working with these tools as a computer programmer, user, and entrepreneur.

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