Essential Guide

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The four pillars of talent management systems: A solid HR foundation

In this HR Essential Guide, delve into the four components that make up a talent management system, and discover how these tools can help your organization find, cultivate and retain the best talent.


The notion that people can be a crucial business differentiator is now well established, and in light of this, human resources technology has been taking off in recent years.

While most companies already use a human resource information system (HRIS) as a repository for employee records and basic information, many organizations are going a level deeper by adding talent management systems to their HR technology portfolios. Experts say talent management systems can help companies attract, retain and develop employees to the mutual benefit of both parties.

But what is a talent management system and how can adopting one enable a company to achieve these goals? Talent management systems are generally considered to be comprised of four modules, also called "pillars:" recruitment, performance management, corporate learning and compensation management. Integrated talent management suite vendors offer all four, but HR leaders rarely buy an entire suite at once. Instead, they usually purchase one to three modules at a time with the intention of building out the entire platform, according to experts.

This guide dives deep into each of the four pillars that form the foundation of a talent management suite. Each section contains expert advice about the benefits and potential challenges of implementing a specific talent module, as well as user tips on vetting the software and using it effectively. The final section puts it all together with information on end-to-end talent management suites and provides perspective on forces that are driving the market.


Recruitment software: Snag the best talent before your competitors do

Before HR managers can cultivate talent, they have to get high-quality candidates in the door. Recruitment software can aid the talent acquisition process by helping HR managers to research, source, communicate with and continuously engage potential job candidates.

The recruitment software market is extremely dynamic, and consumer technology innovations such as social media and video platforms have revolutionized talent acquisition tools. In this section, learn about the newest trends in recruitment software, and get tips on how to effectively source candidates in today's socially connected world.


Navigate the talent acquisition vendor landscape

The sheer number of specialty talent acquisition products on the market can be daunting. But don't fret -- this vendor roundup can help. Continue Reading


Harness the power of social media recruiting in six steps

Social recruiting is all the rage, but experts warn that recruiters need to plan and learn how to engage before jumping in. Continue Reading


Video interviewing slashes time and cost

Find out why users at General Electric (GE) and Cigna agree that video interviewing technology cuts back on travel costs and shortens recruitment cycle time. Continue Reading


Keep strong applicants close with candidate relationship management tech

Learn how recruitment leaders at GE and CH2M Hill continuously engage valuable "silver medalist" job candidates. Continue Reading


GE and Cigna reveal their video interviewing software buying processes

Discover which features the leaders at GE and Cigna were looking for in video interviewing platform vendors, and how they made their ultimate decisions. Continue Reading


Workday and Monster scoop up social sourcing vendors

The social sourcing market is hot, as evidenced by the acquisitions of Identified and TalentBin. Continue Reading


Bersin urges HR leaders to think local for global talent

As organizations expand globally, HR expert Josh Bersin cautions that HR managers need to "glocalize," or tailor their practices to fit local markets. Continue Reading


Put the 'social' in social media recruiting

Social media recruitment is rapidly growing, and to stay competitive, recruiters have to be social, engaging and attractive to potential candidates. Continue Reading


Corporate learning: Develop employees to their fullest potential

Learning management systems have long been used to administer courses and other formal training programs. However, experts say that corporate learning is now branching out beyond rigid course delivery to a more informal and integrated experience.

This section delves into how and why the corporate learning space is changing, and spotlights companies that are embracing new ways of employee development. In addition, you'll discover what capabilities experts recommend keeping an eye out for when vetting new learning technology.


Facebook and Google disclose employee development initiatives

See why corporate learning professionals at Facebook and Google are focusing on millennial employee development and peer-to-peer learning. Continue Reading


Enterprise learning now a collaborative exercise

The 2013 HR Technology Conference was rife with examples of companies putting enterprise social networks to good use. Continue Reading


SharePoint platform enables employees to be both teachers and students

At the HR Technology Conference, HR leaders explained how to ramp up collaboration platform user adoption and gave governance tips. Continue Reading


Consider integration and analytics in LMS purchases

Those who say learning management systems can't support informal learning aren't effectively using new capabilities, according to one expert. Continue Reading


Corporate learning teams morphing from content to context providers

With free, on-demand learning content widely available online, corporate learning leaders should provide direction, said Human Capital Institute conference speakers. Continue Reading


Josh Bersin talks leading LMS vendors and massive open online courses

Reinvention of learning management systems also bringing social UIs and mobility, said Bersin by Deloitte analysts. Continue Reading


Infor enables Toyota to deliver continuous training

Car distributor Toyota Motor Europe is using e-learning to manage the training and certification of motor technicians and engineers. Continue Reading


Performance management: Bring out the best in people

Most organizations have historically adhered to an annual formal review process, where an employee sits down with his manager to discuss strengths, goals and areas for improvement. But today, HR managers are realizing that the performance management process itself needs improvement.

In recent years, many companies have ditched the annual assessment-based review in favor of a more frequent, coaching-oriented model. Another significant trend in the performance management space is to involve more people in the review process, to supposedly get a more accurate picture of an employee.

Peruse this section to learn more about how prominent companies are using performance management technology to shake up their review processes.


Why Adobe and Dunkin Brands abandoned the annual review

Experts have long decried the downsides of the annual employee performance review model. Now it seems some HR leaders are taking heed. Continue Reading


Crowdsource reviews for more accurate performance management

In this discussion, Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce, explains why and how an organization should implement social performance reviews. Continue Reading


Are performance management systems misidentifying high performers?

Find out why UnitedHealth Group encourages workers to drive their own employee development and ICF International revamped its onboarding system. Continue Reading


Oracle Fusion HCM boosts performance management visibility

Oracle Fusion HCM Talent Management underpins Sandy Begbie's push to align employee performance with Standard Life's customer-driven business strategy. Continue Reading


Successfully sell employees on social performance management software

In this feature, a user and an expert agree that companies need to pitch social performance management to employees to achieve the desired results. Continue Reading


Performance management is all about feedback

The CIO quest for skilled IT folks is escalating into an all-out talent war. Smart management of employee performance is a good place to start. Continue Reading


Four questions to ask before adopting social performance management software

To attract and retain millennial employees, many organizations are now going social with their performance review programs. Continue Reading


Compensation management: Reward appropriately and quickly

At many organizations, compensation management is handled in Microsoft Excel rather than dedicated software. But when spreadsheets become unwieldy, talent management providers offer compensation management modules to automate the task. In addition to reducing manual labor and potential for errors, experts say compensation management software adds visibility into bonuses and other employee rewards, which in turn magnifies motivation.

This section contains user and expert anecdotes that illustrate the benefits of compensation management software, as well as tips to sidestep common pitfalls.


Personalize sales compensation plans for best motivational return

In this discussion, Christopher Cabrera explains why companies should personalize sales compensation plans and limit performance measures to three. Continue Reading


Mobile compensation management app readily adopted at tech company

Read how Draeger, a medical and safety technology company, increased incentive visibility and accessibility for its sales force by adopting Xactly mobile compensation management software. Continue Reading


Real-time compensation tool increases sales

Real-time compensation tool increases sales Salespeople at a California prosthetic supplier get paid faster and work smarter with sales compensation management system software. Continue Reading


Signs that it's time to move away from Excel for compensation management

Moving from Excel to compensation management software can save time, money and reduce errors, but organizations need to consider business goals before buying in. Continue Reading

5Four pillars, one suite-

Talent management suites: Support employees from hire to retire

As standalone, "best of breed" talent management technology wanes, interest in integrated talent management suites that contain all four pillars is steadily climbing, according to industry analysts. However, experts warn that "integrated" can sometimes be a misnomer, and many suites created through acquisition are often not as unified as vendors claim.

In this section, get questions to ask and considerations to make that are critical to successfully evaluating, choosing and implementing a talent management suite, and learn how to steer clear of integration snags.


Key features that sway talent management buying decisions

According to Bersin by Deloitte research, cloud is now a top criterion for HR systems buyers, and user experience and analytics rank highly. Continue Reading


Determine talent culture before adopting a talent management suite

Lisa Rowan says HR leaders should gather talent departments together and collect feedback before consolidating on a single talent management system. Continue Reading


As talent management system integration levels rise, so does cost

IDC says that while integration between modules in talent management systems is improving, list price is climbing to foot the bill. Continue Reading


Five questions to ask talent management suite vendors before signing on

Integration issues with talent management suites are best avoided by asking the right questions during the vendor selection process, users say. Continue Reading


Overlook change management in HR systems implementations at your peril

HR technology is a booming market, according to Bersin by Deloitte. But even the best HR systems will fail if they're not implemented properly. Continue Reading


Integrating HRIS and talent management systems smart but tricky

Although real-time integration between talent management and core HR systems is desirable, complexity often trips companies up. Continue Reading


How talent management systems fit into the HR technology landscape

An increasing number of human resources management systems are coming to market. What are the benefits? Continue Reading

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