Stacking Up the Software Suites at Hr Tech Expo

Article excerpt

TALENT MANAGEMENT

Not all talent management software suites are created equal. That's the upshot of recent analyst reports about talent management applications sold in bundles. There's been growing interest in adopting a set of connected talent management applications, which refer to tools for key tasks such as recruiting, employee performance management, compensation management and employee development.

But companies should shop carefully as they pursue what often are called "integrated talent management suites," analysts warn. The more than 20 vendors pitching such products have strengths and weaknesses, according to analysts from AMR Research, Forrester Research, Gartner and Bersin & Associates.

During a presentation October 10 at the annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition in Chicago, Bersin analyst Leighanne Levensaler said truly integrated talent management applications meet eight criteria, including a consolidated or shared database, shared employee profile information and shared "competencies," which are descriptions of skills.

"The level of integration is strong in some applications and coming along in others," she said.

The buzz around talent management suites stems from the way a combination of closely linked tools allows for streamlined operations and can help companies get a bead on useful information, such as which hiring sources lead to the best-performing employees.

Talent management applications are among the fastest-growing products within the HR software arena, which is itself the fastest-growing category of business software. Thanks to factors including fear of talent shortages, revenue from "human capital management" applications is slated to rise 11 percent annually between 2006 and 2011, according to AMR Research. …