Why You Should Care About Talent Management Systems

Sep 25, 2008
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Why should a recruiter care about talent management programs? If you don’t have a good answer, consider this: the talent those systems help a company manage is talent you had a hand in bringing on board.

With the increasing awareness of CEOs and HR executives that quality of hire is part of the evaluation equation for recruiting programs, how those hires are performing is a metric no recruiter can afford to ignore.

“When recruiters can be measured on quality, some recruiters will simply be better than others at bringing in high impact, more productive, and longer tenured employees,” said Dave Lefkow, CEO of consultant talentspark and a veteran recruiter, in an article more than three years ago.

Comprehensive talent management systems do more, of course, than assess and track employee performance. Coupled with succession planning modules, they can make identifying promising internal talent a snap and in doing so encourage internal recruitment. The more sophisticated of these systems can also flag employees who are at risk of leaving, spot talent shortages and replacement gaps, suggest and track training, and lots more.

If your company doesn’t have a talent management system now, it could very soon. The market for these is growing strongly as if in inverse proportion to the U.S. economy. Authoria (profile; site) had a 93 percent growth in bookings for the first half of this year over last. Pleateau, whose recent release of its Plateau Talent Management 5.8 Service Pack 5 prompted this article, reported 2007 revenues that were 58 percent higher than the previous year. The 450 attendees at its user conference last week was the largest turnout in the company’s history.

During a demo of the new release Frank Leff, Plateau’s Pre-Sales Product Consultant, observed that companies can easily assign fields to individual employee profiles, identifying such things as source of hire, recruiter who had the req, and whatever else might be useful. He, and Dennis Gullotti, Director of Product Marketing, showed how easily a recruiter could find in-house talent before having to go outside the company.

But as we watched the demo unfold, we saw how easy it would be to identify the recruiters whose hires were making the biggest impact. Plateau’s competency comparison, intended to identify potential successors and assist with skills gap analysis, could also be used as a quality-of-hire metric.

Is that happening? Absolutely, Gullotti told us. People are “coming out of the talent management silo,” he said. As systems like Plateau’s are increasingly linked to other enterprise software, “We,” he said, meaning HR as a whole, “are connecting the recruiting silo to the performance silo to the other systems.”

That’s closing the feedback loop that will inevitably make quality of hire as important and common a metric to be weighed as time and cost to hire are now.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.