How to choose a talent management system for your company


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Your company has decided to invest in its workforce and a talent management system to help
manage employee performance reviews, feedback and coaching, internal communications and a variety of
administrative, time-consuming HR tasks. From top to bottom, your company will enjoy saving time and
money while increasing return on equity and employee retention, just for starters.

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How to choose a talent management system for your company

  1. 1. How to Choose a Talent ManagementSystem for Your Company
  2. 2. The good news:Your company has decided to invest in its workforce and a talent management system to helpmanage employee performance reviews, feedback and coaching, internal communications and a variety ofadministrative, time-consuming HR tasks. From top to bottom, your company will enjoy saving time andmoney while increasing return on equity and employee retention, just for starters.The challenge:Finding the perfect talent management system to suit your company’s specific needs.The road to success:Take the time to study your options before choosing a talent management system. Determine yourspecific goals and needs and then ensure that the talent management system you adopt is flexible,intelligent and ideally suited to those specific goals and needs.The best time to start the selection process:Now! The sooner you begin, the sooner you will enjoy and benefit from the myriad benefits talentmanagement will bring to your business. 2
  3. 3. Where should we start?Before you start to review and assess various talent management system optionsfor your company, make sure that you can comfortably answer the following fivequestions: 1. Do you have support from your senior executives? And more broadly, is your company’s culture as a whole likely to support this effort? If you’re still unsure on this end, make sure you discuss the potential benefits for your business in terms of employee retention and satisfaction, administrative time saved and improved internal communication. If you notice resistance from one or two key stakeholders, address the issue with them directly. 2. Do you have a budget for this (and what is it)? As far as costs, the main items are the cost of talent management software, implementation and internal administrative costs. Most business owners/HR teams are pleased to learn that talent management systems often cost far less than they would have estimated. 3. Do you have time allotted for implementing and training on talent management? Budget in time for research and selection, demos and questions, implementation and training with the idea that all of this would happen several months prior to your annual employee performance reviews. 3
  4. 4. 4. Why do you want to incorporate talent management into your company? Examine the reasons that you’ve reached this point and make sure that you can articulate them. 5. What benefits do you specifically hope to reap from talent management? Rather than a generic list of “save time” or “less hassle” (both good reasons), try to get as specific as you can: “Improve employee retention by 10 percent” or “reduce time spend on annual performance reviews by 25 percent and dedicate it to creating a healthier workplace,” for example.Prior to launching talent management ,it is critically important that both your executive and HR teams are on board and can readily expressthe benefits of such a system. Likewise, even though most talent management systems are relativelysimple to implement, you should ensure that you have allotted time for this shift and that you have aclear idea of what you would like to change, add or enhance with the addition of a talent managementsystem in your company.The more clear and organized you are from the start, the easier itwill be to work with and select the ideal vendor for your business. 4
  5. 5. What talent management optionsshould we research?As you consider your options for adding a talent management system, weigh the prosand cons and then make a list of your decisions related to the following factors: • Best of breed vs. suite: When making this decision, you will select between a company focused on offering the best in talent management software (best of breed) or one that provides software for a variety of general functions, including talent management (suite). Unless you are looking to overhaul your entire IT function and adopt one vendor to redo your company’s complete technology platform, best of breed will typically give you the talent management expertise that you’re seeking. • SaaS vs. onsite software: Software-as-a-service or SaaS is the newer, more affordable, maintenance-free option in the world of talent management. With a shared platform, the SaaS option makes implementing, maintaining and upgrade simpler than the onsite software model, and, on the whole SaaS is generally ideal for most companies, but it’s important to examine your culture and current needs. • Level of customization: Resist the temptation to over-complicate your talent management process, since this can lead to 5
  6. 6. significant customization of the software. Instead, use this time to simplify or improve your process. That will save lots of time and headaches down the road. • Budget: If you haven’t done so already, schedule a meeting with your CFO to discuss your company’s budget for talent management. • Timeline: When does your annual employee review process typically take place? Aim to have your new talent management system in place at least two or three months ahead of annual performance reviews to allow time for familiarization. • Other X factors: Again, if there is anything specific to your company that needs to be considered in terms of talent management, take the time to examine your needs and your best options.Once you have a list of the factors important to your business needs and culture, it will be easier to assessand choose the ideal talent management system for your company. 6
  7. 7. Checklist for evaluating vendorsWhen you launch into discussions with talent management system vendors, you canuse the following checklist to again ensure that you are getting exactly what your businessneeds: 1. Does the vendor meet your functional requirements? 2. Is the vendor a good company/culture fit with your business? 3. What does the vendor’s pricing structure look like? Are there any extras or hidden fees? 4. Is the contract monthly or long term? (Try to avoid long-term contracts for talent management tools.) 5. How long will it take to implement your new talent management system? 6. Can you export your company’s data whenever you want? 7. Where is the help/support team located? (Many companies outsource support internationally, which isn’t always beneficial to customers.) 8. Along those lines, who will your point-person be and when will they be available to talk to you? What options for escalation are available? 9. Is the software technology new and up-to-date? (Try to avoid companies that still use Flash or any elements of client-server software, or companies that haven’t updated their product in the last 12 months.) 7
  8. 8. 10. Will you need to buy any other systems to get your talent management system to work? (Some vendors, for instance, might require you to purchase a reporting tool separately.) 11. Didyour vendor offer best practice ideas for improvement that make sense to you and your business?While you might be tempted to a do a request for proposal or RFP, they don’t generally add value for thebuyer or the seller in talent management. Rather, come up with a list of questions you’d like your vendors toanswer and then schedule a demo. At that time, it’s completely acceptable to ask for a free trial of thesystem with your data loaded in, so you’re not just using demo data, rather you are using your company’sreal information. This will give you the perfect opportunity to try the talent management system out anddetermine how well you like it.Also, if you are representing a smaller business, make sure that vendors can support yourbusiness and that their business model isn’t just set up for big companies. Ask forreferences from several satisfied small business customers. 8
  9. 9. Vendor Don’tsWhile you’re checking off boxes and getting organized during your research process,there are several things that you DON’T want to do when selecting a vendor.Don’t: • Review more than three to five vendors. If you do, you will likely get overwhelmed by all of the information and data, so try to do a little research ahead of time and narrow down your list to the few that meet your criteria. • Bring your entire executive or management team with you to the demo; instead, one to three key people who will use the talent management system day in and day out should attend and report back with the findings. • Create a long RFP that takes a lot of time to develop, complete and assess; instead, focus your questions during the interview and demo process. Share your requirements and expectations with vendors ahead of your meeting, so they are fully prepared to answer your questions. • Try to fit a very complex process into your system. Most talent management software tools have best practices built in. It’s generally a good idea to understand what the best practice is, and how you can use it to avoid customizing the software (which is always expensive and complicated). • Withhold information from vendors during your process. The more you share, the better data you are going to get back. For example, many buyers instinctually keep important information from 9
  10. 10. vendors (like target budget and other competitors) where sharing that information would actually lead to a better outcome. Remember that vendors are experts in their own systems and in the industry in general! • Select a vendor that you don’t like at the beginning. It simply won’t get any better, and ideally, you’re going to be working with this company for a long time, so make sure it’s a good fit in terms of customer service, communications and overall connection. • Be a challenging customer. Remember to pay your bills on time, provide information as needed and even serve as a reference, if you are happy with the service that you are receiving. Vendors need good customers to grow and always appreciate feedback.And remember, talent management should feel like a partnership – you and your selected vendor willwork together for mutual success and gain. Make sure that regular communication is part of this selectingand launching process. And if the vendor does a great job for you, tell others and spread the word. You willboth benefit in the long run! 10
  11. 11. A Successful Talent ManagementSystemWhether you are looking to automate a variety of administrative procedures(performance reviews in particular), improve internal communication, organize learning and development, orcreate succession plans for your business, a successful talent management system can help you addressall of this and more. Some companies choose to use every possible aspect of talent management whileothers prefer to focus on annual performance reviews; you can customize talent management to yourcompany’s needs and interests.Kapta Systems offers a proven and effective talent management system that includesaccess to a variety of features with a small price tag. The SaaS-based, low-cost talentmanagement system is recognized for “no hassles and no surprises” and provides aneasy-to-use and easy-to-implement interface.Take the time to find the vendor that will best meet and serve your company’s needs and culture so that youcan reap the benefits of talent management for decades to come.For a list of Talent Management System vendors, please see 11