Technology: The missing link in talent management strategy

When Fairsail recently spoke to 40 UK SMBs, we found that nearly 75 per cent of them were planning on changing their primary HR systems in the next 18 months. Their key reason? Because they realised that current systems are not allowing them to take advantage of the growth opportunities a truly agile SMB should be able to capitalise on.

Each company we spoke to identified a lack of technology integration as a key restraint to their working practices. This often caused large amounts of manual rework when moving data in and out of HR systems, leading to errors, not to mention unhappy employees.

The good news is that the new generation of HCM (Human Capital Management) systems can integrate various HR functions, including talent management. They go beyond recruiting and application management to support performance management and objective measurement, featuring user-friendly dashboards and analytics. They assist HR teams in compensation planning (including local currency support) as well as resource and succession planning. 

At a time when the job market is improving, organisations are demanding these new talent management features to make sure their employees feel like they are a top business asset. Global economic growth will create a new level of competition for people, especially when you consider the following statistics:

More than 60 per cent of companies are increasing investment in talent analytics (Forbes), engagement and retention will be a top priority and 64 per cent of firms think that skill shortages may hamper their expansion (PwC).

Invest in talent strategy

With these statistics in mind, there is no reason why SMBs can’t invest in a talent strategy. Addressing these key leverage points will help increase the quality and consistency of their talent base by:

  • Improvement of the calibre and performance of existing talent;
  • Preparing senior potential employees for their next promotion;
  • Retention of the best people, skills and knowledge;
  • A focus on development efforts on specific areas that will reap rewards;
  • The support of targeted development activities in the business to avoid a ‘one size fits all’ approach;
  • A consistent approach to rewarding and developing talent across the business; and
  • The development of ‘home grown’ as well as externally recruited people, which lowers costs and increases motivation.

A bright future

What media and analysts are telling us, as well as our research among SMBs, is that 2014 will be a critical year for HR teams, employees and recruitment. Investing in intelligent technology that makes processes work better is not only good for increasing efficiencies, but it also can help your organisation get ahead in the war for talent. Better technology can also make for a more contented workplace where daily tasks are more manageable via a self-service system. 

Access to records in the cloud can instantly improve productivity, support flexible working and be more cost effective than legacy systems. With the right technology in place, HR teams can progress in the knowledge that they are doing so by engaging employees, whilst being visionary, and helping to support growth within the business. 

Adam Hale is CEO at Fairsail.

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