Talent Management Software makes Succession Planning a Breeze

Jul 24 08:12 2009 Clay C. Scroggin Print This Article

When it comes to determining company success, just about everyone will attest to the fact that succession planning is a key element. Despite this consensus, however, very few companies actually devote sufficient time and energy to succession strategy. The question is, if succession is such a universally-accepted component of company prosperity, why aren’t more organizations doing something about it? 

The answer,Guest Posting fortunately, is a fairly simple one: succession planning is inefficient. Almost instinctively, the words “talent management” invoke wince-worthy images of slow, laborious drudgery through interminable heaps of paperwork, digging through endless Word documents and filing cabinets in order to unearth scraps of employee information long-interred. No one, it seems, can bring themselves to tackle such a tedious task with more than perfunctory enthusiasm, and as a consequence, the art of human resource talent management as a whole has fallen by the wayside. 

What many companies fail to realize, however, is that existing HR management software can be an extraordinary help. Unlike the traditional process of talent management, which often overlooks pertinent information such as demographic data and employees’ mobility preferences, the use of HRIS technology can provide a far more comprehensive representation of company employees; it produces, in effect, what has come to be known as a talent profile. 

These profiles are styled to give a full, sweeping view of employees, from a look at the sectors in which they’ve worked to a sketch of their knowledge and skills. Some companies collect this employee data by integrating their HR management software with other enterprise software, like ERP systems. Others, meanwhile, let employees keep their individual profiles up to date themselves. 

Typically, a company “breaks in” its HR software by first focusing on automating performance appraisals, simply because these appraisals are an obvious area just begging for improvement. The company will then gradually start to add additional performance management tools geared towards helping to streamline employee goals with the goals of the organization. 

Unfortunately, many companies tend to stop here, daunted by the prospect of the next logical move: implementing a tool for succession planning. It would seem that our industry at large just can’t quite disillusion itself of the notion that talent management need be a strenuous undertaking, even with HR software designed explicitly for that purpose. 

But interest in HR performance management software is picking up, meaning that companies will start realizing soon enough the advantages of applying it towards talent management. IDC projects that performance management spending will hit $2.6 billion by the year 2012 with posted growth of 10% a year. A recent survey by CedarCrestone, a consulting company specializing in HR applications, indicated that 26% of HR professionals said their companies were already using succession planning software, with 16% budgeting it for 2009; 54% were already using performance management software for other purposes, and 13% had included it in their 2009 budgets. 

The problem with paper-based succession planning is that it operates only within a limited scope. Pulling up files on “John Smith, Sales Rep” can give direct, existing information, but this offers no insight into connections between people and processes, with possibilities for future improvement. With talent management software, a company can define the skills needed to perform a job, and the software will explore its HR databases to identify all employees who meet, or have the potential to be trained to meet, the target requirements. Performance management thus becomes a proactive force, rather than reactionary procedure. 

Furthermore, software allows for data to be presented in visual, stimulating arrays that convey far more information than a text file ever could. Organizational charts and graphs can sort, categorize, and compare content, displaying potential successors which are at hand now and how many will be available in the future. Meanwhile, rather than wait for an annual appraisal in which they generally get only limited feedback, employees can use the software to educate themselves on which skills they need to develop in order to move into specific roles. 

Succession planning is an important strategy for every organization. With proper use of HR talent management software, a company can make succession less of a painful, obligatory process and instead into an exciting anticipation of the future.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Clay C. Scroggin
Clay C. Scroggin

Clay C. Scroggin has over fifteen years of experience in the human resource software industry. Clay is currently the President and owner of CompareHRIS.com, a web site dedicated to assisting HR professionals with their search, selection, implementation and use of HR software. CompareHRIS.com offers an extremely comprehensive HRIS selection tool to assist you with your HRIS, HRMS or HR software selection process. Make sure to download CompareHRIS.com’s free HR and Payroll Software Buyer’s Guide.

View More Articles