More About Laggards and Innovators in the HR Space (EBA) recently posted a poll on its website concerning blogs as a customer interaction/attraction tool with the following results.

For those who don't know, EBA's subscribers are benefit "suppliers" - brokers, worksite marketers, consultants and anyone else in the business of selling and marketing employee benefits.

These results may surprise a lot of people, especially HR technology or recruiting and staffing vendors who would probably answer these questions the opposite.

But the results really are not that surprising.

In a previous blog, we wrote about the five types of adoption rates in new technologies:

  1. Innovators: The first group to adopt a new product. Represents about 3 percent of a market.
  2. Early Adopters: The second group to adopt a new product. About 13 percent of a market.
  3. Early Majority: The third group to adopt a new product. About 34 percent of a market.
  4. Late Majority: The fourth group to adopt a new product. About 34 percent of a market.
  5. Laggards: The final group to adopt a new product. About 16 percent of a market.
In the human capital marketplace, HR technology and recruitment & staffing firms (and their buyers) are typically the Innovators while employee benefit firms and their buyers are the Laggards.

HRmarketer's previous research confirms this and so do our membership numbers for, an Internet marketing and media visibility service. The majority of our members are recruiting and staffing, HR software/technology, payroll, training & development, talent management, organizational development, workforce planning and consulting firms. Employee benefit firms represent the lowest percent of our membership as defined by our penetration of the total available market in that sector.

But a soon-to-be released report from titled Trends in HR Marketing: HR Buyers’ Behavior 2007 shows that 41.2% of HR professionals either use an Internet search engine or visit an HR website / online directory to begin heir search for locating a new HR product or service (see the PDF Summary). This is second only to asking a peer.

The importance of an online presence is growing every day and the employee benefit suppliers who figure this out will have a competitive advantage.

We will welcome them to the party - even if they are a little late.

Posted by Mark Willaman