The Request for Proposal (RFP) and its cousin the Request for Information (RFI) have long been the gold standard of technology procurement. But do they still make sense in this evolving technology world – particularly for human capital management? That’s the topic of our latest publication RIP, RFP: Technology Selection Gets Personal.

Just 8% of organizations in the study rated the RFP or RFI as influential in the decision process – less than a third of the number of organizations that rated the results of a Google search as influential. When a process is less influential than website copy, one has to question why we’re still undertaking it. It is important to make sure that you cast a wide net when it comes to understanding the world of available technologies. And it’s important to try and make meaningful comparisons. But there are infinite combinations of functionality today that a traditional RFP cannot account for. The Aptitude Research Human Capital Technology Landscape highlights the growing complexity and variety of solution providers available and is one way to help organizations discern who has the capabilities to support your organization’s needs. But the RFP is a rather blunt tool with which to dissect this complexity.

Maybe it’s time to evolve for we mean by RFP. Maybe it’s time to initiate a “request for partnership”, opening a dialogue in a new way, rethinking the demo process, rethinking the sales and negotiation process, to ensure that organizations get the right match. A match for not only the technological capability they require, but the support, expertise, and service they need to truly get a return on their investment. The report makes a few suggestions on how organizations can rethink the selection process, but we’d love to hear from you as well. Is the RFP dead? Should it be? Let us know you think.