Managers often spend weeks choosing the right candidate for a job. They toil for days on end creating the perfect proposal for that next critical pitch. And despite being aware of the importance of having a streamlined talent management solution in place, they’ll often buy a software package on a whim or on the basis of a single sales page.
Don’t make that mistake. Talent Management Software has developed in leaps and bounds in recent years and is arguably what set thriving companies apart from those struggling to grow and retain staff members. But with this growth have come options – and that confuses people. Which platform is the right one?
While there’s no definitive answer, one thing is absolutely clear. When it comes to choosing a talent management software solution, you want to think about how the platform is going to help you achieve your aims. And don’t just stick to the obvious features that have been around since the 1990s; you should see application tracking, basic reporting, and a robust performance management tool suite as basic essentials.
In the modern landscape, it’s about far more than that. Forge the glossy wrappers and the fancy functionality (that has no added value) and instead consider the following key features as integral building blocks you shouldn’t go without.
Flexible (and Simple!) User Interface
Ensuring that the user experience is top notch is perhaps the most important feature you should look for. You don’t just want your talent management software to be usable for yourself, but your entire organisation as well. It shouldn’t be a chore to hop on your system for learning and performance improvement – it should be something that your employees want to do on their own accord.
The interface should firstly be ridiculously easy to use. It should also allow your employees to access your training materials on their terms, not the other way around. It shouldn’t make a difference whether they’re running Windows, OSX, or Linux, nor should an iPad have any distinct advantage over an Android device. Your TMS solution needs to cloud-based and adaptable, able to serve your feature suite anywhere and on anything.
Considering that 77% of applicants consider company culture equally important as salary and benefits (source), it’s clear that an opportunity is presented with your choice of platform. Think of your Talent Management Software as more than just a technical tool for your business – it’s a hub where your colleagues can share ideas in addition to working on projects and training modules.
You should expect to be working with a platform that is akin to a community, allowing co-workers to collaborate easily and effectively via the system. People are social beings by nature and most will already be highly-trained (!) on using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, so they shouldn’t have a hard time adapting to your new system.
Having such a system will breed camaraderie and will also increase performance across the board. Your team should become more tightly knit and happier as a result, improving retention rates.
Data Backup and Recovery
It’s essential that your hard work is kept safe and that the company behind the application has the necessary safeguards in place to make that happen. Don’t just trust what the sales page says, but look at the small print and don’t be afraid to fire across a few emails or phone calls to find out how your data’s integrity is secured.
While it’s not a complete set of questions, it’s a good basis for finding out if the company you’re looking at is worth considering:
- How is data protected against data breaches and/or security threats?
- Does the company use co-location for effective disaster recovery?
- Can the company provide uptime figures? Aim for something close to 99%, which should be an industry standard.
- Can the vendor demonstrate reports from third-party audits that confirm proper security precautions and processes?
If this question sets sounds like another language to you, get an IT consultant involved (unless you have someone suitable in-house). Give them the above and they’ll be able to expand on what you need to cover your bases.