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Talent Management Special Edition

(March 24, 2006)  This is becoming an irregular habit: Special twin editions of the Bugler and the Electronic Recruiting News delivered Friday afternoons for weekend reading. This week, the subject is Talent Management Software. The accompanying edition of the Bugler contains a number of articles about Talent Management Software and an interesting list of vendors.

We were somewhat surprised at the variety, depth and inconsistency of the vendors who describe themselves as "Talent Managers" and/or providers of Talent Management Software. Everything from Applicant Tracking to Timecard systems are covered by these players.

Equally surprising are the people who do not consider themselves to be Talent Management providers: Jobster, most Job Boards, large numbers of applicant tracking systems vendors, background checkers and most assessment firms.

For the most part, its a good thing when a company that focuses on one area doesn't follow the naming fad into the next area. The ATS providers on the list tend to be companies who spend a lot of energy trying to morph into the next trend. That "market adaptiveness" usually comes at the expense of users who are trying to get a job done. We typically read buzzword hopping as a sign of an identity crisis.

So, what is Talent Management Software?

From here it looks like a still emerging category that could allow managers to clearly utilize the pool of talent already in the company while developing additional resources in a talent pool that remains outside the company.

While we acknowledge the argument that Human Beings are not, in any way, a form of capital, it is possible to think about optimizing the performance of a workforce by focusing on the molecular level. It seems to us that this would take different forms in different cultures. Some would want fit assessment techniques, some would want skills assessment techniques and some would want to use handwriting analysis. Regardless of the method, some front end calibration that applies quantification to the human resource problem is required.

Just to get the conversation started, here's our list of necessary functions in a TM system.

Key Functions of A Talent Management Toolset

  • Assessment (Ongoing)
  • Business Objective Orientation (Task Relevance)
  • Performance Appraisals / Review
  • Talent Requirements
  • Talent Pool Development and Management (Referrals, Direct Marketing, Sourcing)
  • Recruiting
  • Internal Rotation / Transfer Management
  • Succession Planning
  • Leadership Development

As always, we would love to hear from you.

 John Sumser
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New Special Editions:
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