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The strategic role of HR Software in talent management

15/10/2021 minute read Alex Arundale

HR teams in every organisation often wear many hats: from managing the recruitment and onboarding process to acting as a touchpoint for everything from wages to employee engagement and wellbeing, your HR professionals represent an influential and vital component of any business.

One of the lesser championed aspects of HR is that of talent management- the natural extension of the recruitment cycle but one which is often neglected by organisations.

An effective programme of talent management and development forms a natural part of an employee’s life cycle at an organisation. We understand the challenges posed by finding and hiring the right talent to fit your business needs but we also feel that the ongoing growth and development of employees is often deprioritised in favour of sourcing new talent.

We thought it would be a good idea to look at talent management and the significance it holds for your organisation. Exploring the issue through the lens of HR software, we want to uncover some of the ways in which emerging technology can ensure that you never lose sight of the ongoing development and upskilling needs of your people.

What is Talent Management in HR?

Talent management is the process of continuity between hiring a new recruit and their happiness and viability as long term members of your organisation. An effective talent management process is the ideal way to ensure that your employees remain engaged and aligned with your ongoing business goals.

The purpose of talent management and the reason why it aligns so naturally with the recruitment and onboarding process, is to help develop and nurture the growth of your employees and to help created a workforce who are motivated and more likely to stay with you long term.

Forming as it does, a natural extension of the recruitment process, it is a natural assumption that talent management is the sole responsibility of HR teams. However, the purpose of talent management is to ensure a sense of continuity and guarantee that your employees enjoy the same experience during their lifecycle at your organisation- it makes sense that in order to leverage programmes of talent management effectively, the responsibility should be shared throughout different levels of a business.

Why is Talent Management Important?

Research by CIPD found that talent management brings with It numerous compelling benefits to organisations who are versed in utilising a programme of nurture and development effectively. Businesses who take the time to formulate a well defined talent management approach will find their people not only more motivated and engaged with their work but also ensure that they remain more closely aligned with your overall business goals and strategy.

Just some of the ways talent management initiatives can benefit your people include:

  • Building a motivated, high-performance workforce
  • Promoting Diversity and Inclusion
  • Encouraging continuous growth and development of your people
  • Adding long term value to your employees
  • Harness data around learning and development to inform future business strategy.

By being able to communicate a policy of talent management, you also are able to position your brand as forward thinking and committed to fostering the growth of your people. As all businesses scrabble to secure the right talent within a crowded market, distinctions such as your dedication to fostering the talents of your employees could very well give you the edge you need to place yourself above your competitors.

How can HR software help influence Talent Management?

As with various aspects of the HR function, crafting and utilising a programme of talent management can be unwieldy- bringing with it, as with so many things, a morass of admin heavy responsibilities. As fruitful as placing a focus on the growth and development of your people can be for an organisation, it won’t be worth much at all if it means burdening your HR teams with tons of manual input, distracting them from their main responsibilities.

The answer would appear to lie within the systems and technology being harnessed by organisations. In order to development a truly effective long term programme of talent management and development, organisations should lean on their HR systems in order to support them and take the strain of the process.

One of the main purposes of an effective HR system is to automate and streamline the entire recruitment cycle. An effective talent management programme is simply an extension of the hiring process, therefore there is no reason your systems can’t be leveraged in the same way to offer support and continuity for your employees beyond the initial point of hire.

So what are the key areas your HR system can help you with when it comes to the question of talent management?

1.)    Recruiting- At a basic level, employee training and development can ever only be truly effective if the people you are bringing into your organisation are fit for the role in the first place. An effective HR module allows you the opportunity to introduce an element of forecasting to the recruitment process, automating and filtering applicants by specific metrics, providing skills testing exercises and other functions, ensuring you are only bringing the most suitable candidates through to an interview stage.

2.)    Onboarding-  The onboarding process is a critical stage for both employee and employer alike and mishandling this step can very well determine the long term viability of a person within your organisation. Your HR systems should work in lockstep with your people teams, automating parts of the onboarding process such as scheduling introductory meetings, requisitioning office and providing them with any and all training material needed to help them hit the ground running in their new role.

3.)    Compensation and rewards schemes-  Many organisations offer varied and complex employee rewards schemes and keeping on top of any incentives can be an extremely challenging area of the HR function. This is another area ripe for automation, with an effective HR module allowing you the ability to instantly flag employees who qualify for bonuses or other rewards by whatever metrics determined by your organisation. Your systems can also allow you to effectively track and chart more belt and braces employee benefits functions such as company travel packages.

4.)    Ongoing education and development- Demonstrating your commitment to fostering the ongoing growth and development of your people is a brilliant way of helping to create a motivated and engaged workforce. The challenge of keeping on track of various developmental programmes is easier said than done however and represents a significant burden for HR teams. Your HR systems should be your first port of call to eliminate the need for masses of manual input, effectively logging and charting an employee’s developmental journey. The ability to instantly flag certification which is up for renewal is also an admin heavy aspect of employee training which can be eased via automation.

What should you look for in a HR system to help drive talent management?

The search for any new systems can often seem daunting, especially so when looking into HR modules. Your people teams are an influential force within your organisation and their role encompasses the entire scope of your businesses and therefore, it’s understandable that upending the processes that they work with can be viewed with some trepidation.

Chose the right software for Talent management in HR

The importance of making the right decision when sourcing software is absolutely vital to safeguarding the continued success of your business. When looking at finding a new HR system through the lens of talent management, there are a few considerations to make:

1.)    Pin down your specific requirements- This isn’t to suggest that you have to have a comprehensive understanding of every nuance of your existing HR solution, rather than when looking at sourcing a new system, make sure you understand fully the reasons motivating your shift. Change for change’s sake is rarely profitable so take the time to consider which areas of your HR function you are looking for the system to enhance. If talent management is an area of focus for you, use that in your deliberations. Many solutions offer a similar base level of functionality but only certain suppliers may be able to offer you the features you need to effectively leverage a programme of training and development.

2.)    Discuss with the wider business- As an extension of pinning down your requirements, ensuring that the conversation around sourcing a new HR solution isn’t restricted solely to HR teams and exec level finance, will help ensure that your search for a system encompasses all aspects of the business, rather than focusing on a narrow view. While it is certainly true that HR teams will represent the vast majority of end-users of a system, when factoring in talent management, the input of hiring managers and team leaders will be vital.

3.)    Consider the level of integration you require- Some solutions may be complex in function but only effective as a standalone product. When considering a HR system, the wider needs of the business are important to consider. Are you happy with something out of the box or does any solution you source have to integrate with existing elements of your business? This is an important consideration as failing to take into account how new systems must mesh with existing processes, can lead to headaches at the point of integration and beyond.

4.)    Prioritise detailed analytics- In HR- data is king. When you are looking at implementing a programme of talent management, the ability to have a comprehensive and detailed oversight of the journey of your people at your organisation will be absolutely invaluable. Most modules will offer a base level of functionality but in order to drive the long term viability of employee growth and development initiatives, you want to prioritise systems with big, built in data solutions.

5.)    Choose wisely- When looking at various vendors, the trick is to not be bowled over by style over substance. Flashy sales techniques are all well and good, but as you know, investing in a HR system is about more than pure function. When sourcing a solution, ask difficult questions of potential suppliers around their level of long term support- will they be able to offer 24/7 support to your organisation? What is their commitment to the long term development of the product? Will there be updates to the module on a regular basis? We all know the pain of a piece of kit reaching an end of life stage so make sure that when you make a decision to go with a supplier that their systems has a long lifespan ahead of it.

What next?

Team management initiatives are a boon for organisations of all sizes. From larger corporate entities through to emerging start ups, all organisations will be able to benefit greatly from increased levels of automation and oversight provided by comprehensive analytics.

At Advanced, we believe that your HR teams are more than just task robots and that the systems and processes they use should be in place to help free them from the burden of admin heavy tasks and to help them achieve the full scope of their role.

If you would like to find out more about how our Cloud HR Software solution can help you craft a comprehensive and effective programme of talent management,  Get in touch with one of our friendly team members today.