Although TM remains human-centered, the field is not immune from the influence of technology. Over the last decade TM technologies have exploded and technology now plays a central role in the success of TM systems.
It seems ironic that talent management has emerged as a field alongside the technology revolution. While many individuals fear technology will make their jobs obsolete, many companies are making significant investments in their employees by hiring Talent Management (TM) executives and building out TM teams to improve the engagement and productivity of their workforce.
The Society of Human Resources (SHRM) defines Talent Management as a “System of integrated HR processes for attracting, developing, engaging and retaining employees who have the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics to meet current and future business needs.”
Although TM remains human-centered, the field is not immune from the influence of technology. Over the last decade, TM technologies have exploded and technology now plays a central role in the success of TM systems. The market is saturated with technology vendors who usually fall in one of the following categories:
- Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) – track employee records, benefits, etc.
- Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) – find and attract talented candidates while tracking and organizing recruitment efforts
- Learning Management Systems (LMS) – tools to develop and manage employee training and development
- Performance management – tools to track employee goal setting and performance
- Compensation Management Systems – tools to track and monitor employee raises, commission and other forms of compensation
- Talent Management Systems (TMS) a full-service technology that often includes HRIS, ATS, LMS, as well as performance and compensation management options
Organizations that do not integrate TM technology into their efforts will likely be at a significant disadvantage in their efficiency, accuracy and overall effectiveness; however, with so many products in this market, how does one go about selecting the right tool without draining the budget? Furthermore, how do you ensure your organization is successful in adopting and implementing your new technologies?
In this article, we will examine how to approach selecting a TM vendor and tips to set you up for success upon implementation.
Step 1: Needs Assessment
With so many products on the market, the first step is completing a SWOT analysis of your organization specifically as it relates to TM.
If your organization is projected to grow 25 percent over the next year you will need a high quality ATS and possible sourcing tools such as LinkedIn Recruiter or a Glassdoor premium account to find new candidates and enhance your employer brand.
Maybe your company has a small number of new hires, but is entering into a new market in the next fiscal year. This often involves a large degree of staff training at which point a learning management system may be a good investment.
Ask yourself: “What are institutional priorities?” then divide your “need to haves” from your “nice to haves.” From there, get clarity on your budget and consider what other parties outside of TM need to be involved in the selection.
Step 2: Make a Project Plan
Begin by naming a project manager and selection committee with representatives from other affected departments within the company. Allot 3-6 months for selection. This will include time for researching products and navigating company politics and contracts if applicable. Be sure and set a deadline for project completion. This will keep you from evaluating too many vendors and never making a decision.
As you begin to evaluate vendors, you will start to notice that there are staggering differences in price depending on the scope and functionality of the tool. Shoot to evaluate 3-5 vendors from multiple prices points. To get an initial list of vendors, poll your network or post in active user groups related to your industry.
Step 3: Set Evaluation Criteria
Before you begin the RFP process translate your list of “need to haves” and “nice to haves” into a rubric you can use to evaluate each vendor during the RFP process. This will allow the selection committee to objectively rate the technology based on the most important institutional priorities. Have each member fill out a rubric during each RFP.
Step 4: Talk Directly with Users
Once you start to narrow down your list of vendors, set aside time to speak directly with product customers. Everything looks shiny in sales demos. Users will tell you the good, the bad and the ugly about the product and allow you to look below the hood to ensure the product is right for you.
Step 5: Negotiate Price
Rarely is the advertised price your only option. Aim to make a deal at the end of the quarter or end of the fiscal year when salespeople are eager to meet their quotas. Think of non-traditional strategies such as asking them for a discount if you pay all at once, purchase a multi-year contract or bill you at a rate for a smaller size company.
Step 6: Make an Implementation Plan
Technology alone is not a strategy. You might think you are finished now that you have selected a vendor; however, the true work is just beginning.
Most technologies fail during implementation because organizations fail to prepare for the transition. This puts many companies into a vicious cycle of selecting a new vendor whenever a contract is finished.
Plan for a 6-month transition into the new technology. This will include the IT set up of the product as well as training employees and working with your account rep to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Entering its 40th year, Info Tech, Inc. consists of two core businesses. Info Tech Systems provides software solutions that advance and automate construction while Info Tech Consulting provides expert statistical and econometric litigation consulting services and support. With a diverse workforce, and collaborative, relaxed environment, Info Tech, Inc. is a thriving, Gainesville-born pioneer of innovation, committed to its family of employees, customers and community.
About the author
Lindsey Day is the Assistant Director of Talent Acquisition and Development for Info Tech. She is a leader in the field of talent management technology and has been a leader in technology selection committees at multi-companies. Recently, she served as the Instructor Lead for the Mastering LinkedIn Recruiter program, a partnership with LinkedIn and Firefly Educate, where she trained over 700 recruiters on the LinkedIN Recruiter platform.