Budgets are being set and most of us are already looking ahead to 2016. New equipment will be bought, professional development course contracts will be signed and we’ll even leave a little room in the budget for a corporate anniversary party. But at the end of next year, will any of the things you spent money on make a real difference in the way you do business or how effective your department is? The best way to set your company apart and become best in class in 2016 is investing in technology.

HR and recruiting teams are making technology a part of their day-to-day work now more than ever. For those who haven’t yet invested in technology, this means that every day another company is adopting a tool that makes them more productive, more effective, better able to reach candidates and quicker in their work. Of course, technology isn’t a magic fix all, but it really can make a big difference in how your department runs.

Knowing your weaknesses and finding solutions

As you’re considering what tools and technologies can give your company a boost in the new year, look at the areas in which your HR or recruiting team is weak. Do you struggle with social recruiting, have difficulty staying organized or need a better system for managing candidate relationships? The answer to the question of what your weaknesses are will guide your decision of where to make a technology investment.

The difference it makes for your team

Aside from the obvious advantages of adopting a new technology, the difference it can make for your team could make it worst the cost. If they’re saving time, getting frustrated less often and are able to stay better organized, the investment will pay off. Additionally, having up-to-date HR and recruiting tools actually makes you a more desirable employer for HR professionals and recruiters. You may not work in tech, but technology is an enormous part of our everyday lives, so being able to tout that you’ve invested in something that makes your team’s job easier is a great benefit.

Candidates will take note

Candidates may not know that you’ve adopted a cutting-edge CRM that allows you to track your interactions with them, get to know them and remember things about them, but they will notice you’re doing all those things. And by default, you will provide a candidate experience that stands out from the rest – by far. Add in the ability to communicate on the go so you don’t leave them waiting, and the tools to collaborate with others in your company and shave time off getting interview feedback and approvals, and they will not only notice but also remember.

Becoming best in class

There are a lot of things that separate good HR departments from great ones, and one of those things is having the tools they need to be the best at their jobs. Becoming best in class happens across many layers, but in our day and age, one of those layers is technology. It’s no longer a luxury for large companies or tech organizations. It’s a vital part of performing the basic functions of HR and recruiting. So to become a best in class HR or recruiting team in 2016, technology is the first thing you should evaluate and a category worth investing in.