Is poor integration destroying Talent Management?
By now, everyone from CEOs to HR managers understands the benefits to be gained from integrating talent management functions and HR processes into a single solution that aligns with strategic business objectives: Simplification of daily work, improved data quality and more robust reporting.
But many who have moved to integrated talent management processes still complain of poor user adoption rates and find their analytics lacking.
Why the disconnect?
Moving from individual “best of breed” systems for individual processes like payroll and performance assessment to a single system that integrates data for all talent management processes depends on the regular input of large volumes of high quality data by users throughout the system: employees, managers, business partners. Very often, problems—not always obvious—arise from a lack of understanding, or misunderstanding, of integration itself, the complexities of data processes that need to be considered and the real-time impacts integration has on system use.
An experienced, global SI consultant anticipates these kinds of challenges and guides not only the integration process but continues to work through system maintenance and upgrade, maximizing the quality of the output and ultimately, the benefit to the organization.
In an integrated talent management system, various data processes are triggered by numerous employee-related events—from recruitment to performance to report generation—each of which requires the initiation of data changes from users throughout the system. Not only do interfaces need to be fast and user-friendly, users need to understand and buy into the entire process.
What happens to more routine data processes when more complex processes—an annual review of compensation, for example—are being run? Different organizations often have different requirements that can range from freezing data until the reviews is over to treating data as a moving target that managers continually monitor on dashboards. Too many times this awareness comes too late in the integration process and only after disruption and missed data, further affecting confidence.
Global integration presents an ever-growing set of demands for multi-national organizations. Data models for HR vary considerably from one country to the next, necessitating global integration that uses a common data set. Technically, data exchange tools must be designed and built that fit within the data model. But seamless global integration must also be built upon a deep fluency in local regulations—and knowing when to work with them or challenge them.
Likewise, there is also significant variability in regulations and compliance requirements for user access and data privacy in different parts of the world. A globally integrated system, therefore, must incorporate this knowledge into complex security models that restrict system use to authorized users.
Finally, the global landscape across which corporations integrate systems that gather and process critical data continues to grow and change. It’s not enough to have a well-integrated talent management system today; the infrastructure for future development must be defined at the same time.
The market for integrated talent management solutions is racing ahead, but the real market is for confident and experienced implementers.
- Steve Norris