The Talent Management System in a Nutshell
Talent management without a talent management system is virtually impossible, at least for organizations of a certain size. Managing today’s talent is about much more than recruiting and candidate experience alone. It entails everything from finding and attracting the right people to developing, motivating and, perhaps most importantly, retaining them.
A pretty big challenge, right? One that requires all the help you can get, both from an organizational and a technological perspective. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the latter, meaning the talent management system.
What is a talent management system?
A talent management system is an integrated software solution that covers the full scope of talent management, namely: recruitment and employee onboarding, performance management, learning and development, compensation management and succession planning.
Put simply, talent management systems focus on helping companies and HR achieve their long-term (business) goals by putting the employees – or talent, if you like – first. This means that rather than focusing on transaction processing and administration, like for instance, a traditional HRMS does, a talent management system is about building an employee-centric solution.
As such, talent management systems usually consist of various modules. Each module represents a particular area of HR. You’ll find for instance a recruitment module, a performance management module, a module devoted to learning management systems, a compensation and benefits module, and so on.
Why use a talent management system?
The number one reason to use a talent management system is, of course, to automate and optimize the entire package of talent management processes within your organization.
Especially for mid-and large size organizations, it quickly becomes impossible to manually keep track of each candidate and employee and their respective status and situation. A talent management system enables HR to track and manage the recruitment, development, and performance of employees and candidates.
Other often-named benefits of implementing a talent management system are:
1. Shared data
Let’s start with the data part since everything else stems from it. While data collection becomes more and more mainstream, it’s the storage and accessibility of said data that often remains messy. It’s not uncommon for data to be stored in silos making it difficult to access and analyze.
An integrated talent management system, however, enables organizations to align all core HR processes from recruitment to ongoing performance assessments, benefits management, etc. It facilitates data sharing and connecting across the organization hence giving HR a full picture of employee information.
2. Better hiring
What a talent management system does for your talent management as a whole, its various modules do for each stage of the HR lifecycle. This means that the recruitment module of a Talent Management System will help you automate and optimize your selection process. Among other things, this entails:
Less time spent on tedious tasks. Think for instance of interview scheduling, answering candidate questions and confirming appointments, but also of posting job adverts, tracking applicants and managing job offers.
A better candidate experience. Less time spent on tedious tasks means recruiters and hiring managers have more time to focus on what really matters: the candidate and building a relationship with them.
3. Retaining top talent
While we focus a lot on recruitment and getting that top talent through your front door, it’s just as important (if not more so) to make sure you keep your current people with you.
After all, why invest heaps of time, money and energy to recruit talent if they feel abandoned as soon as they’re on board?
Since a talent management system covers every aspect of an employee’s situation in the company – their performance, goals, training, skills, future aspirations, compensation, etc. – it gives you all the information you need to make sure they stay happy and engaged.
4. Improved employee experience
Using a talent management system not only makes the lives of HR professionals easier, it’s also meant to dramatically improve the employee experience.
A Talent Management System can be a useful tool for employees where they have access to all the information regarding their history, performance and future career. Instead of having to search in various systems to find what they are looking for, employees can just go to a unique place.
Employees can get familiar with your company’s talent management system from the very first day they start working at your organization since you can also use the system for their onboarding.
There are lots of different options when it comes to employee onboarding, including welcome videos, a virtual tour of the workplace, an overview of their (mandatory) training, and even the possibility to choose their work phone and other equipment.
5. Modern employee development
Employee learning and development is an essential part of the talent management system. And it should be an essential part of what every organization is offering its employees.
In fact, most workers attach more value to learning and development than to salary, with 80% of them wanting to keep learning and challenging themselves at work.
Any good talent management enables employees to follow courses and develop their skills. Thanks to technological developments (in AI) some systems even suggest courses to employees based on collected data and for instance on courses colleagues with similar profiles have taken.
Talent management system market
The talent management software market is vast. It has been segmented based on component, deployment, organizational size and vertical. The deployment segment is divided into on-premise and cloud-based systems with the demand for the latter expected to grow faster.
Since there are numerous solutions – and vendors – for every part of the talent management process, the landscape is constantly evolving and new, innovative features are being developed all the time.
The global talent management software market is expected to be around 16 billion USD by 2023, doubling roughly every 4 years.
Some of the more prominent players in the market for talent management software systems are (in alphabetical order): Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba, SAP and Talentsoft.
How to choose a talent management system?
As you may have guessed, choosing a talent management system is not a decision to be taken lightly. Nor is it something to rush. It often implies a considerable investment and a long-term commitment to a vendor.
Earlier this year, Capterra published the results of a survey they did among 350 talent management software users. Among other things, they asked users what the most important factor was in their decision to buy a talent management system.
As you can see, functionality is key when it comes to choosing a talent management system followed by the price tag of the software.
Generally speaking, there are a few things to keep in mind/questions to ask yourself:
What are your organization’s needs?
There is more to this question than you may think. It’s about choosing a talent management system that fits your needs, not just your current needs but also those of a few years down the line. Ideally, you don’t want to switch systems because the software you chose doesn’t meet your future needs.
At the same time, and this is why it’s not an easy question to answer, you want to avoid paying for features you’re not using.
Find a vendor that’s right for you
Implementing a talent management system is a big project. It often involves a lot of people, careful preparation and close collaboration with the software provider.
While it’s important to choose a system that has the functionalities your company needs, it’s (almost) just as important to find a vendor that’s right for you. Because as we mentioned, buying a talent management system usually equals a long-term commitment to the software provider too.
Do they answer all your questions and give you all the information you need? Do they offer to get you in touch with other customers of theirs so you can ask them about their experience? What is the service and support going to be like once the system is implemented?
These are just a few examples of questions that are important to ask. Based on the answers you get and how you get them you’ll be able to decide which vendor you prefer.
Demo, demo, demo!
Before you buy a car, you take it for a test drive, right? The same thing goes for a talent management system. Ask your shortlist of vendors to give you a demonstration of the systems. This will allow you to see the software in action and assess its user-friendliness.
It also provides you another opportunity to better get to know your future vendor and ask them questions about the implementation, user training, additional costs, etc.
As you can see in the below image from the Capterra survey we mentioned above, demoing is almost a mandatory phase in the process of choosing a talent management system.
Once you’ve decided which talent management system – and vendor! – you go for, the process-and system implementation that goes with it requires dedicated project management and, of course, a world-class team. It also requires a phased approach with logical steps to follow in order to deliver maximum value. The below image gives an overview of such a step-by-step approach.
The question of how to successfully implement a new process supported by an HR system – like for instance a talent management system – is treated in our Digital HR Strategy Course, including an extensive, detailed description of the activities in each of the five phases described in the above image.
A talent management system is an integrated software solution that covers the full scope of talent management, namely: recruitment and onboarding, performance management, learning and development, compensation management and succession planning.
The number one reason to use a talent management system is to automate and optimize the entire package of talent management processes within your organization. Other reasons include: shared data, better hiring, retaining top talent, an improved employee experience, and modern employee development.
Generally speaking, there are three things to keep in mind when choosing a talent management system: your organization’s needs, finding a vendor that’s right for you, and asking for at least one demo of the system.
That’s it people, the talent management system in a nutshell. We’d be curious to hear about your experiences – if any – with talent management software, feel free to share them in the comment section below.