Article: The evolving world of Talent Management

HR Analytics

The evolving world of Talent Management

Talent management software today is not for HR, it is for employees and managers
The evolving world of Talent Management

The new breed of talent management tools will include features for regular check-ins, transparent sharing of goals and agile team management


While Cloud-based systems and talent analytics will be the need of the hour, HR will invest only in those technologies, which are mobile, agile and fast moving


Technology has proven to be a unifier for most HR functions, be it recruitment, learning & development or performance management. The infusion of technology in HR has not only made HR more transparent and efficient, but it has also helped and enabled companies to make strategic business decisions. Bersin by Deloitte estimates the talent management software market to be $5 billion and growing. The landscape of vendors is diverse, from global established vendors, to fast-growing highly innovative companies and start-ups, which is providing buyers tremendous choice.

In this story, we look at the evolution of the top talent management technology in the last decade. While recruitment has already seen a huge transition and a lot of interest from investors and start-ups, the learning & development domain is now coming of age.


In the last decade, the recruitment function has been the biggest benefactor of the technology intervention. Technology has completely altered the face of recruitment, right from identifying and selecting the right talent to on-boarding them into the company. The use of technology in recruitment has mutated from being just a system of record to a tool for employee engagement. Only a decade ago, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) acted as a place to store and index resumes. Today, the entire user interface has changed. Not only does it run on mobile devices, which increases accessibility and also ease of use, it also acts as a mode of engagement for future talent resources. Jobs can be tracked and applied by a single click, assessments can be done through online tests and video interviews, and candidates can be updated in real time as well. ATS has made hiring proactive, with an increased focus on passive hires as well.

Another very significant intervention of technology in the recruitment space is Social Analytics. It has taken recruitment to the next level with agile mobile technologies, helping both enterprises and start-ups in finding the right candidates. The next big thing the industry could see will be a merger of ATS and Predictive Analytics, which will help in predicting the joining probability of an applicant based on different slices of historical data. It will also let the recruiter to automatically know the skill gap of a candidate and provide a curated and timed learning path even before the candidate joins. We could even be looking at predicting how long a hire will stay in an organization, by analyzing everything—from previous salary, education, marital status, skills and certifications, and even distance from the proposed office.

Learning and Development

While L&D technology is showing great signs of growth, it is largely believed to be an under invested market and hence one can expects an upswing in the near future. Learning and development is moving away from the orthodox Learning Management Systems (LMS), which is hard-wired to the core of the company and designed to impart knowledge only from the course catalogue. The LMS has moved away from being a system that prescribed courses to a system that recommends trainings based on aptitude and skills and helps people in connecting with content interactively. Employees can see what trainings are assigned to them, the courses that are trending or what the mentors are talking about.

It is no longer a dull class session but an interactive learning opportunity that can be accessed from home, on the way to work, in the form of a video or an online text module. A vast majority of LMS products born in the last three to five years are fully mobile responsive. Some of the most complete mobile responsive LMS solutions are AccordLMS, Skilljar, TalentLMS, Absorb and Saba. Gamification of learning has also brought about a very interesting change in the learning paradigm, which is supporting peer learning as well. Gamification, as a feature, will become a very big trend in the LMS industry this year.

On a different note, Mrigank Tripathi, Founder and CEO of Qustn technologies, told us about how a big Indian telecom player with the help of their learning platform using a SaaS model imparted training to a distributed workforce of 12,000+ across various geographies at the same time. This shows that with the right technology, no numbers are too big and no subject is too difficult. The right learning solution can not only increase engagement but also deliver profits to the bottom line by aligning learning strategies with corporate objectives and leveraging innovative technology.

Other functions

Under the talent management banner, performance management is looking at the next biggest share in investment after recruitment and L&D, followed by succession planning. The talent review itself is looking at a change. HR is turning to datafication of its processes to be able to measure the ROI and the get the results it needs. The days of measuring people on a Nine-box grid in a locked room are over and technology is perpetuating a very transparent system. Year-end performance management is becoming obsolete and today companies want programs that focus on real-time feedback, coaching, development and agile approaches to goal management. This means redesigning performance management to be more agile, developmental and transparent. The new breed of talent management tools will include features for regular check-ins, transparent sharing of goals and agile team management. Social recognition is also growing and real time social applause is becoming an essential feature for employee engagement in this space too. A new solution from Deloitte, for example, looks at real time labor activity and uses techniques like analytics to show companies how they can save millions of dollars in payroll expense without reducing any worker flexibility or productivity.

Looking ahead

Technology has succeeded in bringing together the fragmented functions of HR, be it getting a global payroll solution, or managing the company’s employer brand or attracting the right talent. Technology will not only provide solutions to increase efficiency, but also transparency inside and outside the company. It will prompt companies to move away from legacy systems and architectures, thus helping them to be more agile. Cloud-based systems, flat user interfaces, mobile apps, video, and advanced analytics will be the need of the hour and only what is mobile, agile and fast moving will define the technology HR invests in tomorrow. 



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Topics: HR Analytics, #TechHR2015

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