Talent management software is a type of technology that HR professionals use to manage employees in order to gain a competitive advantage. It can refer to standalone applications from a niche vendor that specifically addresses one part of the process, such as a learning management system, or it can refer to a completely integrated software suite.
The main purpose of talent management software is to help companies and organizations manage their current employees, from performance management to benefits. Some talent management software encompass the hiring phase, and go as far as tracking employees as they prepare to leave a company. However, these phases of the employee lifecycle often have their own, dedicated software tools that stand alone.
So, how do you know what the basic features even are? With so many options available today, it’s hard to set apart which features and capabilities you actually need and which are just talked up by software vendors. Don’t worry, we are here to help. Below are a list of the must-have features you should expect to see when examining any talent management solution.
Employee Lifecycle Management
Also known as “employee tracking,” this is the most basic feature you’ll find in talent management software. The employee lifecycle begins when an employee starts working at your company. When they’re new and still learning the lay of the land, they’re in the onboarding stage. Then, as they grow and gain mastery of their job role, they move into employee development. Finally, when they’re ready to move on from the company, the employee enters the termination or transitional phase.
Lifecycle Management makes it as a must-have feature because talent management software helps you track an employee in all stages of their lifecycle and provides you an overview of their progress so you can help them reach their full potential at each individual stage.
Are different employees bringing home different amounts of money? Depending on the size of your company or organization, this can be difficult to keep track of. How are you supposed to keep on top of who gets paid what and when? Compensation management helps you track these metrics and ensures your employees are being compensated fairly and on time.
It can also assist you with compliance and safeguard accuracy at tax time, so it’s a must-have feature. Some types of compensation management can even handle direct deposit and paycheck management.
This goes hand-in-hand with compensation management, but instead of tracking compensation, benefits management tracks the perks and benefits an employee receives outside of their salary or wage. This can be anything from time off to a healthcare package, as long as it isn’t directly related to payroll.
In a similar way that compensation differs between employees, benefits packages are unique to each individual employee as well. Instead of relying on Excel sheets and file folders jam packed with employee information, a talent management solution can manage all of these benefits and track their use in one centralized place.
In the same way you track the overall lifecycle of an employee, succession planning helps you follow an employee’s career as it winds down, including offboarding and even identifying a replacement to take over the emptied position. Some of the more advanced succession planning features also have capabilities to help you track a replacements hires onboarding process as they take over the job role.
This makes it as a must-have feature because it allows the offboarding process to be much easier for CEO’s, HR professionals and even the employees.
Finally, here are some of the nice-to-have features, that while not offered with every single talent management software platform, are fairly common and still useful.
- Performance appraisal: this allows you to track how well an employee is doing at their job, similar to performance review software.
- Employee portal: a function that allows your employees to log into your talent management system on their own accounts to handle their benefits and compensation – it can also save your HR department from having to answer minor questions like, “how many sick days to I have left?”
- Time tracking and scheduling: usually built into talent management suites, tracking and scheduling capabilities come in handy when dealing with paid time off and sick leave.
As you begin your search for the perfect talent management software, don’t let yourself get distracted with the fanciest features – really consider what you need. Our talent management buyer’s guide is a great place to start.
Looking for more? Download our talent management buyers guide and check out the top-24 products available in the market with full page vendor profiles, key capabilities and questions to ask yourself and the vendor before purchasing a talent management solution. For those just starting the talent management software search process, this is truly the best resource to help get you going.