Virtually everyone talks the talk: “The workforce is our most important asset”. But how many companies actually walk the talk? Why is it there always seems to be budget for classical assets like facilities, but HR has to fight an uphill battle just to keep systems up to date?
I believe, it boils down to ROI. Boards invest where they’re confident of the return. So how do we improve the link between talent management and workforce productivity?
To begin with, a partial solution is no solution. A company wouldn’t construct a multi-story building without stairs and expect employees to climb between floors. Why do this with software?
It’s great to measure performance, but to what end if it isn’t linked to compensation? Workforce planning is great; but what if it’s not connected to a learning solution? Are you getting the most out of succession planning if you lack a recruiting solution? In brief, talent management processes only deliver their full value as a complete suite.
Next comes the issue of integration. It’s not enough to have all the pieces. They have to fit together. In our building example, you can be confident that contractors sell stairs and elevators that fit your stairwells and elevator shafts. In the world of software; however, this isn’t always the case. Some vendors sell the vision of an integrated suite but ask you to sign contracts with different vendors for products that have nothing more in common than marketing collateral.
Lastly, there’s the issue of after sales service. Building contracts are awarded to established vendors that are likely to be around for potential warranty claims. In the case of software, vendors are needed that keep solutions legally compliant; if not future proof with continuous innovations.
Unfortunately, many talent management vendors are young companies with uncertain futures. Even if they survive the treacherous start up phase, there is the danger they will be acquired for their customer base. Only established vendors can provide peace of mind.
Historically, it’s been difficult to overcome these challenges. In other words, few established software companies offer end-to-end talent management suites with pre-integration. Fortunately such vendors are winning the market. The playing field in the boardroom is finally leveling for HR. Walking the talk need no longer be an uphill battle.