The Must-Have Features in a Talent Management Solution

The Must-Have Features in a Talent Management Solution

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.

Talent Acquisition

Talent acquisition is the process of sourcing, recruiting, interviewing and and hiring talent. Any recruiter or HR professional tasked with recruiting will tell you the Applicant Tracking System can make or break how effective this department or function can be. For that reason, it’s important to look for integration into your overall talent management platform and easy recordkeeping, smart forms, compliant records and the ability to source your own applicants from boomerang employees and former candidates who didn’t make the cut. The best talent management systems will contain features that make flipping a candidate status over to employee very easy. It should be a seamless transition from offer to onboard.

Compensation & Rewards Management

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.

Rewards 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 and rewards 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.

Succession Planning

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.

Performance Management

Every talent management system worth its ROI should contain a performance management module and the ability for managers and employees to give one another feedback easily. Effective performance management is essential to businesses. Through both formal and informal processes, it helps them align their employees, resources, and systems to meet their strategic objectives. It works as a dashboard too, providing an early warning of potential problems and allowing managers to know when they must make adjustments to keep a business on track. If your current talent management system doesn’t allow you to measure employee performance against goals, values or real-time feedback, consider replacing it with a best in class talent management system built for growing companies.


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.

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Elizabeth Quirk

Liz is a leading enterprise technology writer covering Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Process Management (BPM) and Talent Management Suites (TMS) at Solutions Review. She writes to bridge the gap between consumer and technical expert to help readers understand what they're looking for. Liz attended Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications. You can reach her at equirk@solutionsreview.com
Elizabeth Quirk

About Elizabeth Quirk

Liz is a leading enterprise technology writer covering Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Process Management (BPM) and Talent Management Suites (TMS) at Solutions Review. She writes to bridge the gap between consumer and technical expert to help readers understand what they're looking for. Liz attended Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications. You can reach her at equirk@solutionsreview.com

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