Rethinking Your Talent Management Technology Strategy

Only 5% of organizations surveyed in Brandon Hall Group’s study, Benchmarking the Impact of Talent Management Technology, believe their technology ecosystem meets their current and future needs. 

Most organizations are attempting to navigate the VUCA talent environment using technology devoid of AI or machine learning capability or with only partial capability, according to the research. Only 10% of organizations leverage advanced analytics often or always. 

Not surprisingly given the data cited above, improving reporting and analytics is the top priority for improving talent management technology functionality, cited by 87% of organizations. But progress is slow because almost all employers (93%) are plagued by budget constraints and a majority are operating without a clear talent management technology strategy. 

During one of the most critical talent shortages ever, most employers do not have the technology and sophistication needed to make talent decisions that could make or break their businesses now or in the relatively near future. 

Six in 10 organizations spend less than 10% of their HR budgets on talent management technology. Meanwhile, at least half say upgrading technology is important or critical in 11 areas of talent management: 

  • Reporting and data analytics (86%)
  • Learning (79%)
  • Workforce planning (77%)
  • Team performance (71%)
  • Career management (64%)
  • Competency management (64%)
  • Succession planning (64%)
  • Performance management (61%)
  • Opportunity/talent marketplace (50%)
  • Engagement (50%)
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (50%)

What must we do to gain the technology needed to optimize talent decisions as we adapt to an emerging workforce and an evolving hybrid work environment?

Here are four high-level approaches to improving talent management technology so it meets current and future business needs. 

  1. Get Familiar with AI, ML and the Possibilities of the Metaverse 

Too many organizations are not curious enough about the advanced technologies that can help them hire, develop and retain the top talent they need to thrive. Budget constraints don’t prohibit talent leaders from getting educated so they can make a compelling business case when the time arises.

AI and ML can transform how talent decisions are made and emerging technologies, such as the metaverse, can provide more effective ways to hire, assess, develop and engage employees.

 In every talent or HR organization, there should be an individual or a team focused on gaining “platform vision”’ — a deep understanding of the logic and architectures of digital platforms. While it may sound like work for IT, in this digital age the talent and HR functions need a more sophisticated understanding of how technology functions. You don’t need to become a geek, but you do need more than a cursory understanding. Having this expertise will give you credibility in discussing tech needs with IT and business leaders. 

Here are some high-value questions to help you gain the knowledge and understanding you need: 

  • Where can technology help us to move talent management at the speed of business? 
  • How can automating talent (and other HR) processes save time and money? 
  • What are our ultimate business goals? 
  • What should we do to position our technologies to support the future of work? How can improving our technology ecosystem improve our employees’ experiences? 
  • How can technology-enabled advanced analytics empower us to make better people decisions? 

2. Prioritize Your TM Technology Needs 

Despite budget constraints, almost half (47%) of organizations say they plan to upgrade their talent management technology between now and the end of 2023. Since money is an issue, leverage your newly acquired “platform vision” to prioritize which technologies will give you the biggest bang for your buck. 

In a previous section, we listed 11 tech functionalities that at least half of organizations said needed upgrading. Since you may not get everything you want, you must be able to clearly articulate what will have the most impact and why. 

In gaining greater understanding of the talent management technology market,  about two-thirds  were using internal task forces or committees, according to our research. 

That’s great, but make sure those committees are cross-functional and that you have someone from outside the talent or HR functions — such as a business leader — as a sponsor to help you build your technology plans. 

3. Create a Talent Management Technology Strategy 

Once you understand your talent and technology priorities, you can create a strategy for upgrading technology over time to meet future needs. Again, it is helpful if you collaborate across functions to build your talent management technology strategy and have an executive sponsor from the business side. If your organization also needs other types of HCM technologies, you should be working together to create an overall HCM technology strategy. 

4. Make the Business Case for TM Technology 

Using the three approaches above, you will be in position to make the business case for improved technology to drive talent strategies and processes. By acquiring platform vision, prioritizing technology needs, building a strategy and building relationships and sponsors across the business — combined with the urgency for developing and retaining top talent — you should be able to make a strong business case to get the technology you need to thrive. 

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