What to Look for in a Talent Management Application

A recent Industry Week article on talent management technology: automate and analyze your metrics claimed that the combination of technology, tech saviness, and concrete planning ultimately guarantees best-in-class talent management. Although I would disagree, as this leaves out the facts that you need a solid understanding of what “talent” is and what “talent” needs to do in order to effectively manage it, technology, tech savviness, and concrete planning are still necessary conditions of good talent management and any good advice you can get on these aspects is good advice you can use.

The article provided good advice in the form of five factors that you need to consider when selecting a talent management application, which will form the foundation of your talent management activities. The factors were:

  • Establish Clear Business Goals
    What are the primary goals of your talent management — better retention, improved knowledge management, ROI? You need to understand what you need before you can select the right application.
  • Think Smart, Think Strategy
    How is the tool going to help you? Performance evaluation support? Key trend identification? Surveys? Skill / Knowledge Tracking? This helps you select a tool with the right functionality.
  • Seamless Integration
    How well will it integrate with your current HR and Knowledge Management Platforms? If you have to rekey data through manual processes, it’s probably not the right solution for you.
  • User Friendly Software
    An application that isn’t easy to use isn’t used.
  • Proven Client Satisfaction
    Talk to long-term clients of the provider and make sure that the tool is still working for them after the initial shine has worn off. You want a solution from a provider who stands behind it for the long run.

And they are definitely factors you can’t overlook when selecting any software solution, not just talent management.