“What’s in it for me?” –What an integrated talent management solution brings your corner of HR

14 05 2011

  The idea that different HR domains can gain leverage or advantage by using information produced by peers in other HR functions is intriguing; however, it is often quickly dismissed as an impossible undertaking.  The reason for this is of course the sheer amount of data involved, and that is where an integrated talent management system comes in.  A system acts as the “oil in the machine,” by acting as an efficient means to collect vast amounts of talent data and then aggregating that data into useful talent information.  A system allows a HR team with a set level of resources to delve much deeper into an organization than they could with any paper based system alone.

At its most basic level, an integrated talent management system enables the generation of more data than a single-domain approach.   Workflow based forms or even other data input processes (e.g. social networking activities integrated with talent management) ease the process for getting people to “tell” the organization pieces of information.  The information may be the results of a candidate interview, the request for a requisition, an employee’s self-identified interest, or the assessment of a manager’s future potential.   An integrated system has the added benefit of collecting all of this data with the same user interface “look and feel.”

As an organization uses various processes, whether they are year round or pushed through cycles, the system continually adds to its data set.  Each new process pulls hundreds or even thousands of new data points into the system, adding to the overall potential value of the data.  It is at this point where the computer does “what computers are bets at.”  In a microcosm, a well networked business manager might know three or four internal and or external candidates she has for an upcoming open position.  She knows what she is looking for to get a particular set of work done (a “job”) and she knows of a few people that she perceives as potential matches.  She may even know a bit about the attitudes those potential candidates have toward taking on the role.  The computer does this same process (perhaps more clumsily in spots that the human mind, perhaps not) and adds “rocket fuel” to the process.  With a good job profile detailing the requirements of the job, the system can search across hundreds and thousands of people for potential matches.  In practice, this means that the business manager has more options, more “supply” as it were to choose from – most of which she would never have found out about on her own.

While there are certainly benefits to having a single system that asks different HR domains to “speak the same language,” the drive toward integration should really come from each HR domain looking to answer the question, “what’s in it for me?”   Pushing an HR group to “play nice” with its peers by giving up its system to work on an integrated platform can be a difficult sale.  In practice, what each function should be after is how working in an integrated fashion can help them leverage another domain’s information in order to do their own jobs better.   How can integration help a recruiter hire better?  How can a system help a Compensation professional better spend the organization’s incentive resources?  Fortunately, in addition to aggregating large data sets to create more options for the business, the system’s data collection builds the data required for the “common picture” of an organizations talent status, which can then be viewed through each HR domain’s own lens.

(Mike Ditson)

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