The race for talent has never been more competitive, even as organizations try to load the “talent” in their workforce. The “talent” – employees with specialized skills and competence who ensure the organization is able to win in today’s competitive market and sustain itself during times of uncertainties such as the one we face today.  Needless to say, organizations also feel the need and pressure to manage these key resources.

With the “talent” becoming the most critical resource, it is imperative for CHRO (Chief Human Resource Officer) of today to have the required intelligence, real-time data and information of the talent management processes implemented within the organization and right tools and techniques to measure the effectiveness of those processes. They have realized that it is equally critical to build and maintain a talent management ecosystem, which includes seamlessly integrated digital and IT (Information Technology) empowered systems, which enable real-time information tracking, thereby enabling speedier and accurate decision making.

CHROs require instant access to vital information via real-time metrics and dashboards, predictive analytics which gives them a peek into the future. Incorporating advanced tools and software in the talent management ecosystem, has helped the CHROs gain a definite place in the boardroom when it comes to tackling key business problems. They believe that today’s data driven tools definitely lead to more effective handling of the talent.

Technology in talent management is helping organizations to be prepared for the constantly changing business environment. Advanced technological areas – data science, AI and analytics – are being deployed by organizations to plan, execute, monitor, measure, analyze and even predict factors to manage talent and business challenges more effectively. The deployment level of course, depends on the organization’s readiness and maturity.

Why is technology important to effective talent management?

Among others, adoption of technology focuses on below key areas in an integrated talent management ecosystem:

  • Digitize HR processes across talent management areas
  • Align talent with business strategic needs
  • Precise decision making in real-time
  • Improved talent pipeline management
  • Wider and targeted global talents reach
  • Reduce hiring cycles and recruitment costs
  • Effective talent mobilization and deployment
  • Improve networking and collaboration among talents, employee engagement
  • Align compensation and rewards with employee performance and business objectives
  • Predict future situations and realign strategies by taking evidence based actions
  • Measure impact of the HR value chain

Adoption of the right technology and analytical tools will enable an organization to measure the efficiency, effectiveness and impact of the HR processes and activities, outcome of the HR processes and the business results respectively.

Deployment of the right metrics and analyses will help in measuring and hence, aligning the talent strategy with the business strategy.

HR Value Chain

Image Ref: HR Value Chain, AIHR (Academy to innovate HR)

Adoption of right technology will benefit organizations to plan, design and implement the talent strategy to achieve the desired business results.

As observed in the talent management framework (Ref: Talent Management Institute Handbook) shown below, implementation of talent management processes and strategy alone is not enough to achieve the desired business results. Organizations today, need the right tools and techniques, analytical capabilities to measure the results with effective metrics and analyses.

 talent management framework

Trends in Talent Management Technologies

Information technology is “generally” available to everyone. Its commoditization has enabled even the smallest organizations to procure the most advanced talent management tools and software at affordable price. There is a variety of modes via which the talent management software and services are made available to the organizations – cloud, on premise and hybrid. Organizations have multiple options to adopt the technology platform based on their readiness and needs.

Global best practices, social and analytical capabilities, collaborative features, third party tools integration capabilities are already built-in most of the talent management applications. All these advancements have enabled CHROs to act proactively within their organization.

Talent management market space is extremely competitive. Talent management system providers such as Oracle Cloud, SAP Success Factors, Cornerstone, Workday and others are continuously pushed to bring in the most advanced technological capabilities into their products, especially those which will attract the CHROs such as enhanced user experience, analytical capabilities, mobility and many more.

Below are certain trends which are seen in adoption of technology in talent management space.

  • Self-service automation and enablement

Organizations continuously seek compliance to national and international policies, adapt to best practices, implement transparency, enable employees and managers with the right tools, increase collaboration and engagement. An advanced talent management application suite should deliver the right set of automated processes covering the business needs.

  • Mobile platform capabilities

Advancement in mobile technologies has certainly supported the ever increasing mobility of employees, managers and customers. Talent management systems are mobile enabled and hence, accessible to the talents on the go. Mobile technologies in talent management have a definite potential for increasing collaboration and engagement.

  • Adoption of predictive analytics

Thanks to the big data and artificial intelligence capabilities – with the huge amount of data now being accessible to CHROs and managers,  can measure as well as predict the outcomes of the talent management processes and programs. They have realized the importance of analytics and in its application in key talent management functions such as acquisition, engagement and retention, demand planning, talent pipeline management and so on.

  • Availability and deployment over cloud

For SMEs (Small and medium sized enterprises) and large organizations, cloud based talent management applications and services have proven to be more convenient, affordable, scalable and easily accessible as against the traditional high cost on-premise models. With both data and processes being available on cloud with little to no operational costs, CHROs and managers can now focus their attention on solving business problems and not on administrative areas. Organizations have the flexibility to adopt a model based on their needs which delivers the right talent management and analytical functions and capabilities.

  • Integration across the HR processes and framework

Both, Talent management system vendors and organizations have realized that HR and talent management functions and its components cannot be disparate and need to talk to each other to deliver the right outcomes and business results. Unless all the systems and processes are integrated, it is impossible for managers to take the right decisions. Vendors of talent management systems continuously invest in connecting all the talent and HR functions together to deliver the right value to the customers.

  • Address information and data security

Leakage of confidential information increases business risks and can prove very costly. With large volume of data generated every day, organizations have realized the importance of securing the employee data by leveraging talent management systems that are not only robust, but also compliant with the local and international laws and regulations such as GDPR (General data protection regulation). Application vendors have to continuously upgrade the security framework to ensure full protection of data especially when hosted on cloud.

  • Use social media and digital marketing

Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter etc. are the most important digital platforms for organizations to effectively strategize their talent management programs. Such platforms are ideal for organizations to publish the talent needs and brand themselves in an attractive manner. At the same time organizations can also integrate their talent management systems with these social platforms to keep the employee profiles up to date and easily accessible. Application vendors provide secured features to integrate organizational processes and data with social media platforms.

  • Adoption of AI and machine learning

AI and Machine learning tools have gained immense traction within the talent acquisition area in recent years. A good percentage of organizations are adopting such tools to identify, recruit, and select job applicants with greater speed and efficiency.  Service providers are injecting more and more AI capabilities within the talent management applications.

Key considerations for selecting the right talent management application

There is plethora of talent management application and service providers in the market who strive to meet the global business and talent needs. The functions and features available across the talent management suite of applications can be overwhelming at times for the CHRO to make the right choice. With the advancement of technology, new capabilities are constantly added and applications are continuously enhanced and upgraded to provide the best experience to customers. In such a situation the task of choosing the right software can be very complex.

The selection process cannot be random and superficial to meet only the needs of a certain user category. There should be a methodological approach which includes the overall talent management needs encompassing end to end business processes and the strategy itself.

Few key aspects to consider when choosing the right talent management application are:

Business comes first: Assessment of the legacy processes and applications, business and talent strategies, critical pain areas should come first and must be given more weightage than the application under consideration.

Technology provider roadmap: Any application platform must cater to the latest trends in technology and should also look into the future proactively. Organizations and key stakeholders should understand the plan and roadmap of the application and service provider regarding key areas such as social media and networking, analytical capabilities and automation. In depth study will ensure expected ROI.

Flexible and scalable: Business environment is more dynamic than ever. Strategies and priorities, company values and mission can change every 2 to 3 years. Other environmental factors also add to lot of uncertainty. These changes have a direct impact on talent strategy and talent management processes. What is best today may not be required tomorrow. The application platform under consideration must be based on global best practices and must cater to every changing business needs including user experience.

Choosing the right model: Buy or subscribe? Whether on premise or SaaS on cloud or hybrid? Cost benefit analysis should be considered along with all stake holders to arrive at the right choice. Current and future planned IT landscape is also a key factor to take the right path. Information and data storage and its security should be one of the top priorities.

Co-existence and integration: The product under consideration might be meeting all the talent management business needs, but it may not necessarily fit in the overall IT landscape along with other legacy applications. A stand along SaaS module especially needs to be integrated seamlessly with all other HR applications. Careful study of the product integration capabilities is required to be done along with the provider.

Comprehensive HR platform: Any good talent management strategy must integrate seamlessly with the HR strategy and its process. Flow of information must be real-time and continuous  with no redundancy and loss of information. Talent management workflows and processes must integrate with other HR areas such as compensation and benefits, payroll, personnel management etc. Choose a platform and application which covers all the basic HR needs.

Summary

Choosing and implementing the right talent management technology platform can help Organizations track talent right from hiring to their deployment, career development, engagement and their retention.  It will help to measure and track important drivers of employee engagement and retention. With the right balance of strategy, processes and technology, organizations can get the expected ROI.

However, having the best technology alone is not enough. As informed earlier in this article, business comes first – Processes and strategy. Alignment of talent strategy with the business strategy is critical to the success of any talent management program.

What we can do for you

Aspire Systems is an Oracle Platinum Partner. We work closely with Organizations interested in implementing integrated suite of talent management applications. We have expertise in consulting and implementing Oracle Fusion HCM Suite of applications across the globe. We can suggest the best technology landscape, solution and timelines to suit your HCM and talent management needs.

Our Oracle Talent Management services cover the entire talent life-cycle. Key business process areas we address for our customers are:

  • Talent acquisition – Attract to onboard
  • Learning and development
  • Goal planning to performance
  • Performance to pay
  • Talent review and succession management
  • Reporting and mobility

For more details, connect with us

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Ninad Ghate