HRMS and Talent Management Software: 4 Points of Comparison

In the last few years, talent management systems have become big business; the latest thing, one might even say. But what exactly is a talent management system and do you really need one…, won’t your HRMS talent management module perform the same functions just as well?

The current crop (plethora? plague?) of talent management software has evolved from stand-alone systems dealing with performance appraisals, training administration (learning management or LMS), and applicant tracking. The core features are usually (but not always) performance management, succession management, compensation planning, alignment with strategic goals, and flexible reporting and analytics; often there are elements of recruitment and/or a direct interface to recruitment management software.

The difficulty is, that “talent management” has become something of a marketing label and the reality is that many of the so-called talent management suites on offer don’t offer all of the above functions. This doesn’t make them bad necessarily, it’s just that if you’ve decided on the best of breed option then you need to undertake a careful selection exercise to avoid buying something that actually gives you less than that standard HRMS talent management add-on module. The key areas in which to compare stand-alone talent management suites with HRMS solutions are as follows.

Social Integration

Social integration is beyond crucial when building that talent pipeline. Many of today’s top performers are to be found by trawling the likes of LinkedIn and the first stage of talent management is attracting it; smart leveraging of social media is a core part of that strategy and any talent management software must have social capabilities.

Data Access

Proper access to data is essential for effective talent management – the employee record, performance management information and even storing and utilizing its own records. Put simply, the software builds a ‘talent profile’ from all performance-related and career-relevant data in the system. If security issues or access/integration difficulties are going to cause a problem then functionality suffers. Stand-alone options have to be able to perform at the level of fully-integrated HRMS talent management modules.

Manager Self-Service

The data is no use just sitting in the system. Manager self-service is critical to allow instant access to key talent management information; including resumes and application tracking, induction/onboarding stages, performance plans and reviews, career projections and the inevitable metrics and analytics. (Note: the right analytics can be particularly useful when tracking the effectiveness of social media usage and recruitment).

Workforce Flexibility

Here’s a final question: can your stand-alone talent management suite handle “contingent “ or “casual” labor? With the job markets globally in their current state, flexible working continues to be on the rise and a system that can attract, manage and retain talent on a flexible basis is increasingly valuable.

It would not be wise to say that HRMS talent management modules will do a better job for you than stand-alone talent management systems. However, as you can see, there are significant data integration issues for today’s stand-alone talent management software and at least with the ‘all-in-one’ option you either a) have no integration difficulties or – more likely – b) can call upon your ongoing relationship with the vendor when you do!

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall