A quick review of the current HR technology market for talent management reveals a lot of hype surrounding the notion of a “one-platform” approach.
In our post-pandemic world of ever-evolving technology and changing consumer preferences, point systems are a thing of the past. In 2021, more and more enterprise organizations are leaving behind the complex, multi-vendor HR solutions that defined a generation of talent management initiatives in favor of single technology partners. With the ability to align every stage of the talent experience while providing organizations with dynamic, integrated and consistent end-to-end workflow management, a one-platform approach empowers HR stakeholders in ways that aren’t possible in the world of legacy and point solutions.
As an industry-leading software company helping customers provide their employees with a unified talent experience, we here at Avature are passionate about people and relationships. We believe that a one-platform approach is defined by three crucial elements: talent, data and a high degree of platform configurability. In today’s article, we will take a look at each one of these elements with the goal of helping our enterprise readers more effectively wade through the murky waters of talent management technology.
Let’s dive in.
“One-Platform” – Fact vs. Fiction
To begin, we need to start with a basic query: what does “one-platform” really mean?
While the list of solution providers promising a personalized and hyper-connected talent management lifecycle is endless, the reality is that many fail to deliver. Rather than providing their customers with a truly unified talent management ecosystem, an alarming number of HR solution providers have taken to simply recycling and repurposing specific functionalities from their talent acquisition solutions before rebranding it as “talent management.” In this way, a “candidate” shifts to an “employee,” and a “role” becomes an “internal opportunity,” but the solution offered to the user and the technology involved essentially remains the same.
And yet, a one-platform approach should move beyond functionality repurposing. A fully connected platform will take the three pillars of talent management (i.e., employee development, engagement and mobility) and provide organizations with a tool that adapts to the user, not the other way around. It will provide HR stakeholders with interconnected – but unique – solutions that not only seamlessly bridge the gaps between performance management, upskilling and career pathing but blur the lines between the traditional pillars of enterprise talent management.
Element #1 – Focused on Talent
The first element of a one-platform approach to talent management is rather obvious – it should focus on talent. Forget (for now) rigid processes, long-term planning and repetitive tasks. A true one-platform approach will help organizations achieve their long-term business goals by putting the needs of the workforce first. From agile career development to holistic performance management to diversity, today’s workforce demands a dynamic and value-driven talent management experience.
Not only are siloed and disconnected technology frameworks out of touch with these needs, but they are slow to respond to parallel shifts in the global labor market (e.g., COVID-19). Recognizing this fact, companies are turning their attention to providing employees with a customer-like experience driven by agile technology. A unified talent management ecosystem will position enterprise organizations to meet the wishes of the modern workforce while driving both employee engagement and productivity.
Element #2 – Driven by Data
A true talent management ecosystem will also eliminate point solution data silos while empowering HR stakeholders to align all core talent management processes.
With a single interconnected platform, organizations can more effectively manage employees while making data-driven decisions with respect to future talent initiatives. How so? Well, it’s important to remember that dynamic talent management is employee-centric. A one-platform approach will focus on workforce engagement (typically in the form of a user profile), and from there, drive the talent lifecycle through activities based on an employee’s professional history, personal interests and work responsibilities.
Let’s illustrate with a simple example using Avature’s talent management platform.
With Avature DNA, an organization’s HR department can easily consolidate all employee-related information in a single location via comprehensive employee profiles. Once employees complete their performance reviews with Avature Performance Management, they will then receive targeted profile advertisements based on their skills, training needs and applicable development opportunities. If a new position or opportunity opens, management can use Avature Succession Planning and Avature Internal Mobility to leverage rich employee data (including performance history, career goals, areas of interest and countless other data points essential to talent scouting) to drive their workflows and paint a complete picture of internal candidates.
To summarize, our data-driven approach means:
- Unified talent management solutions.
- Data inputs from multiple talent touchpoints.
- Centralized application accessibility.
- A single, interconnected platform.
Element #3 – Flexible and Configurable
The reality of strategic HR in the current environment is that no two companies manage talent in the same way. Given this fact, does it really make sense for organizations to use a one-size-fits-all solution? Today, what organizations need – regardless of size, culture and niche – is a platform that not only functions as an HR toolbox but that has the requisite agility to allow HR stakeholders to build the tools that they need.
As HR analyst Josh Bersin recently stated, what companies need today is a “truly adaptable HR software.”
End-to-end management is the future of talent, and organizations will continuously look to evolve, adapt and expand with respect to the talent management lifecycle. As such, there will always be new workflows, best practices and activities to add. Talent management isn’t an exact science, and it needs to be built around a workflow engine that can be designed by users and tailor-made based on the needs of each organization and its workforce. A truly configurable and flexible one-platform solution for talent management will provide “out-of-the-box” functionality (including applications, templates and workflows), but it will also allow companies to personalize the platform to meet their needs.
Let’s take performance management as an example. As a crucial pillar of talent management, you will be hard-pressed to find an organization that doesn’t engage in quarterly or yearly performance reviews. And yet, there exists a wide range of performance management strategies, with many organizations deploying a mixture of traditional and modern frameworks. All companies, regardless of their approach, have unique performance management needs. The role of a performance management application within a single talent management platform is to align leadership and labor to the degree necessary to generate real value from the experience and all related talent management activities. This is not possible without a significant degree of solution flexibility.
Take the customer case study we recently covered in our performance management e-book of a global ride-sharing giant. With operations in over 900 metropolitan areas worldwide, this company found itself in need of developing multiple workflows for its broad range of employees, including a baseline evaluation framework for corporate employees as well as dozens of unique “tributary” workflows for drivers and other company stakeholders. Essentially, they needed a tool that could adapt to their unique status as an industry leader of both the gig economy and traditional employment.
Since the beginning of our collaboration in 2019, this company has reached an employee performance management satisfaction level of 77 percent. Perhaps even more impressive, internal surveys indicate that an outstanding 59 percent of the organization’s 35,000 global employees now agree that performance feedback is effective, ongoing and timely. With our help, this company took the robust baseline functionality of Avature’s talent management platform and adapted it to build an application specifically tailored to their organization – one capable of not only evolving but seamlessly connecting with all other core workflows in their talent management lifecycle.
Talent management is evolving, and the need for a truly connected one-platform approach has never been greater. With the ability to provide enterprise organizations with an employee-centric, data-driven and fully customizable solution, Avature is uniquely positioned to meet the talent management needs of the modern enterprise. To learn more about Avature’s one-platform approach to talent management, don’t hesitate to contact our experts.