by Todd Spear
Published on 15 March 2016
Recruiting and developing high quality employees on an ongoing basis is paramount to any company's success, regardless of business size or industry. For HR, the biggest challenge here is efficiently managing employees, both new and familiar, while continually reshaping it around an ever evolving slate of performance metrics.
HR managers have long grappled with aligning personnel with organizational goals, to varying degrees of success. Fortunately, a growing number of cloud-based talent management apps are helping them keep performance in focus while nurturing human relationships. But not all talent management software is made equally so you need to make sure your chosen solution can help you meet this challenge.
This article details the six most important factors to consider before you commit to a particular talent management app.
One of the biggest challenges HR professionals face is not just catching up, but getting ahead. Often, a life in HR can feel like you're constantly putting out fires. The right software can break this reactive cycle and put you on a proactive footing.
Look for software that offers more than just the big, scary annual review. Given that building relationships facilitates communication, you can never build a solid relationship around a once-a-year conversation that happens to be mostly dreaded. Look for a talent management app that lets you communicate with employees routinely, in performance-linked messages that keep your staff on track.
On-boarding, training, and certifications are a constant fact of life in HR. Choose a talent management application that tracks the training regimen of your employees for you and which simply reminds you ahead of time that action is required.
Rather than rounding up employees for training session after the time for compliance has passed, use a talent management app with built-in reminders to track the training progress of each employee.
One of the advantages of HR software is its ability to automate business processes. Look for a talent management app that lets you do this for HR. One way you can use automation is to notify your employees automatically at the appropriate time when they need to take action over a certain point. The only point at which you need to involve yourself is if the employee fails to comply.
Pick an application that tracks performance data and imports it into the appraisal, automatically. Even when you meet face-to-face to review the appraisal together with the employee, having a readily accessible report on the employee's statistical performance will help you to support your recommendations and to keep the discussion focused on aligning employee performance to business goals.
Another feature to look for in a talent management app, especially for HR people working in large organizations, is the ability to quickly scan your talent pool. A company's roster of employees is constantly changing as workers retire, take family or sick leave, get promoted, or truncate the relationship.
An app that records and displays current employees based on skills, experience, and career goals helps you to quickly fill any vacancies that arise from your existing pool of talent. This offers the advantages of advancing existing relationships as often as possible, while also potentially reducing the more costly prospect of onboarding a new employee. Look for an app that lets you filter employees by specific criteria intuitively, drilling down to those employees best suited for the roles that open up due to vacancy or succession.
One of the more indirect (and often overlooked) aspects of talent management software is its role in perpetuating your organization's culture. Organizational culture has a profound influence over employee retention.
Employee interactions with HR are among their primary sources of cultural perception within an organization. Choosing a talent management app that facilitates personable yet professional communications on an ongoing basis helps sends employs a positive signal about your organization's culture. To make the relationship a two-way street, in which employees feel invested, look for an application that facilities 360-degree feedback.
Before investing in any talent management system, consider its future. Does there seem to be a clear upgrade path? Is the design scalable? The human resources field has to move and adapt with the times, increasingly integrating social media and emerging trends and standards. The software you choose to power your HR operations should showcase a demonstrated history of changing with the times.
One big hint is to avoid anything that comes on a removable disk. Look for a cloud-based talent management application that pushes upgrades automatically, over the internet, throughout the life of its subscription.
If you're a HR professional stuck fighting proverbial fires with multiple outdated or insufficient talent management tools, it is time to look at the current offerings. If you're not happy with the software you're using in your HR department, it is time to seek out a better solution that speaks to today's HR needs.
This post was brought to you in conjunction with talent management software provider Halogen.