As we seem to be moving past the initial enamoration of talent functionality, there seems to be more and more disillusionment with the lack of full integration that we are used to expecting with more mature applications like HRIS, payroll and benefits. (ok, that’s fully debatable, I know…) But the problem is that not only do talent applications within a “single suite”, but they don’t play nice with other application providers either. My experience is that integration is spoken of confidently by the talent vendors, but delivered minimally.
At the very least, we’d like to think that data integration exists between performance, compensation, and succession within a single suite. Generally, integration is ok between those functions. Where things fall apart is integration with core HRIS. While vendors say that standard integration exists, I have yet to come across an organization that is satisfied with delivered integration with no modifications to the program. And even with the modifications, integration is not sufficient. competencies, job, organization unit, and other data elements need to be better integrated. Certainly, there is a fairly consistent list of data elements we would want from any core HR system to talent, although the list is fairly robust. Similar to payroll and benefits, the lists are 90% predefined and should not be as hard as it is to integrate today.
Second however, integration with user environments is completely non-existent. What I want to see is a portal environment that managers access not only for their core HR transactions, but also for their talent applications. This means that ultimately the talent functionality, data and workflows need to be brought forward into a unified portal environment. Raising the API’s for workflow elements and notifications is probably not as simple as the theory sounds, but hopefully we’re just a few years away from that. The idea that talent vendors have today around presenting a separate portal environment is nice, but at the end of the day, managers don’t want to go to multiple applications to know what HR functions they need to perform that day, or to view multiple sets of metrics.
Meg Bear writes a few nice thoughts around integrated talent applications, but I’d like to make sure we don’t stop there – let’s make sure that integrated talent applications also include the right API’s to integrate with the rest of HR as well.