Get Savvy: Your Guide to Evaluating Talent Management Solutions


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Have you ever felt dizzy from so-called vendor blur? With so many talent management solutions available today, it's become much more challenging to tell the differences between them all.

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Get Savvy: Your Guide to Evaluating Talent Management Solutions

  1. 1. Get Savvy: Your Guide to Evaluating Talent Management Solutions Have you ever felt dizzy from so-called “vendor blur?” With so many talent management solutions available today, it’s become much more challenging to tell the differences between them all. So what’s a smart buyer to do? Get savvy to the sales mumbo-jumbo and start asking the real questions:
  2. 2. 1 Integration How many user interfaces are there? A truly integrated system will have a single user interface with one login, not two or three. Users should be able to go to one place to login and access all information. Does the system offer more than good looks? Some providers are quick to offer a pretty interface that disguises a slew of messy components. 2 Find out what’s really underneath by taking a closer view of the data and software architecture. This is a great time to bring in your IT team for an expert opinion. Is the system intuitive? An interface that requires neverending clicks—and induces carpal tunnel—to access data is a nightmare. What good is talent management software if no one wants to actually use it? Reporting How easy is it to view the data you need in the format you want? Reporting is the lifeblood of your organization. Quick access to your data—in a sensible, logical format— is critical to driving better business decisions, in less time. Can you segment and sort down to organizational units (OUs)? Accurate reporting is dependent on being able to slice and dice data based on how your business and employee framework are structured, down to brand, location, state, function, and department. For example, a large retailer needs to be able to see how different divisions are performing—without any clicking shenanigans. Get Savvy: Your Guide to Evaluating Talent Management Solutions Is data in several databases or just one? Reports should seamlessly integrate data from all modules. Is it possible to see learning, performance, and other metrics together and in relation to each other? Ideally, data should be neatly housed in one powerful database. Is data normalized or is it inconsistent? A comprehensive system will allow you to enter a simple field in one place, like hire date, and automatically modify it anywhere else, so your data always tells the same story. 2
  3. 3. 3 Support What does the customer service framework look like? Vendors interested in long-term partnerships will connect you with a dedicated account manager. The really good ones will also provide a success manager whose sole focus is to help you get the most out of the system and evolve your talent strategy over time. Who implements the system? Implementation should be always be handled by the vendor or the vendor’s trusted 4 partners. Beware the company that farms implementation out to the highest bidder, a decision that favors the vendor, not your success. How long will it take to get answers to your most pressing questions? Waiting days—or weeks—for answers from support is a disaster for productivity. Having access to one dedicated care team is critical to both user adoption and a consistent return on investment. Flexibility Is the system truly configurable? Your business is unique. So why use a talent management system that assumes you’re like everyone else? A truly configurable system adapts to your strategy and maps to your existing processes—not the other way around. And keep in mind, configurable is not the same thing as customizable, which is where vendors charge you an arm and a leg for changes. Get Savvy: Your Guide to Evaluating Talent Management Solutions How difficult—and expensive—is it to change things down the road? Change happens, companies grow and shift. What happens if you need to alter your process? Ask what the cost will be if you make changes down the road. The best vendors will be flexible enough to grow with your business. Be wary if you hear the murmur of additional dollar signs. 3
  4. 4. 5 Upgrades (Releases) Are releases free—and pain free? Releases can be a double-edged sword: more capability is great, but sometimes extra power comes at a tremendous time and financial cost. Releases should be seamless for your IT team and your wallet. Is feedback considered when making improvements? Smart vendors will engage clients in improvements. Make sure the vendor will consider your feedback on upcoming changes. 6 Will there be regular releases? There’s nothing worse than implementing a system only to discover the product’s headed for the software graveyard. Make sure your vendor can share a roadmap of anticipated releases. What is the vendor’s product focus? A vendor focused on managing multiple HR/ERP products could spell trouble. Numerous, disparate products may result in your talent software getting less attention specific to improvements and customer service. Note this as well: an update in their ERP software might adversely affect their talent bolt-ons. Focus and Viability Is the vendor focused on product acquisitions or their customers? A vendor focused on gobbling up companies to expand market share can’t simultaneously concentrate on your needs. They become too distracted with juggling multiple products and teams, causing reporting and integration issues to sprout under the surface. Make doubly sure you do your due-diligence here. The right talent management solution will put your success as priority one. Get Savvy: Your Guide to Evaluating Talent Management Solutions If the vendor is in the process of an acquisition, what’s the scoop on their executive, sales, and R&D teams? During acquisitions, these teams are either terribly in flux or have their hands tied, which means your improvement requests and support tickets are put on ice. Consider, too, if any major auditors, the CFO, or members of finance have resigned recently as change-ups in leadership can point to instability. 4
  5. 5. 7 Sales Process How many teams does the vendor bring to calls? How a vendor handles the sales process is a sign of what’s going on beneath the surface. If the process is disconnected and unorganized, it likely indicates the entire company isn’t on track. A cohesive company and product will rely on a single sales team. Does the vendor push other products that aren’t relevant to your needs? Beware the pushy rep who insists you need the whole kitchen sink. A great vendor won’t suggest irrelevant add-ons just to increase their sale. Does the vendor listen to what you really need? Sales should do more listening than talking to ensure they understand your challenges and how to address them. 8 Price Gouging Were prices dropped too eagerly? Companies that quickly slash their prices during negotiations are usually just after your good looks, i.e., they just want your logo on their website. But flattery can’t help you solve your talent management challenges, especially if the software isn’t what you really need. Is the software “free”? You get what you pay for. Sure, “free” may cost you nothing in product fees but it’s guaranteed to cost you dearly in time, labor, and energy. Vendors who want your business solely to boost their cloud market share aren’t really interested in your success. Outstanding customer support, integrated functions, and ongoing innovation—things that cost money—are keys to developing, executing, and managing your strategy. Cornerstone OnDemand is a leader in cloud-based applications for talent management. Our solutions help organizations recruit, train, manage and connect their employees, empowering their people and increasing workforce productivity. For more information about Cornerstone, visit: © 2013 Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. All Rights Reserved. csod - Get Savvy: Your Guide to Evaluating Talent Management Solutions -11/2013