The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

, ,

Knowledge Infusion’s Talent Survey

systematicHR Avatar

KI’s newest survey around talent presents some salient findings that we should all find quite obvious, but we all seem to ignore anyway.  In the first paragraph below, Jason Corsello states that HR people still don’t know how to present a business case.  Perhaps it is that HR people don’t know how to speak “Finance” but I actually think that HR people (generically) don’t understand the world of ROI, TCO, and simply tying in our projects with financials.  Without a business case, you fail to start or complete your project.  Even worse, if you do get the go-ahead to do your project, the lack of concrete metrics will bring you down after go-live as it will be impossible to measure success.

“The fact that lack of funding or a business case is the biggest barrier to talent management shows evidence that HR does not yet know how to articulate the business value of technology investments,”  said Jason Corsello, Vice President of the Knowledge Infusion Center of Excellence. “They understand the end goal-employee engagement and retention-but most companies are still have a dire need to create an overarching strategy that ties together their talent management initiatives with business goals and objectives to gain executive buy-in.”

Other findings from survey include:

  • 40 percent consider usability/ease of use the most important factor when selecting a talent management suite.
  • 34 percent of companies prefer Software-as-a-Services as the delivery model of choice (SaaS)
  • 40 percent cite lack of integration between modules as the biggest concern.
  • 40 percent cite performance, development and succession planning as the most important areas of integrated talent management.  ((Knowledge Infusion press release.  October 11, 2007.  Retrieved from on November 13, 2007.))

I like the first bullet about ease of use.  Is functionality more important, or is usability?  I’d argue that the survey population is actually right this time.  I’ll go for higher rates of adoption and engaged managers who are using the app any day over that 2% improvement in functionality.

What strikes me a funny is that 34% of companies are now preferring software as a service (SaaS).  Perhaps the technology and configurability of applications has improved so much that this is more palatable than a decade ago (this is true).  But the fact is that just 5 years ago, if you told HRIS that they would be hosed, could not customize the application, and were held hostage by the vendor’s data center, your HRIS team would have quit and never come back.  Then again, perhaps the real statistic is that 66% do not prefer SaaS.  Times have changed, but the technology is better.

40% don’t have sufficient integration.  It’s your own fault if you are purchasing modules from 3 different vendors.  But it’s more of a travesty if you have a single vendor and their own stuff is not integrated.  I’ll forgive not having recruiting and performance integrated.  But performance and compensation or succession?  These need to be a seamless process.  Back to my question though:  unless you bought the thing 5 years ago when talent systems were in their infancy, how did you get yourself in this situation?

Most of what is in the survey is obvious to me.  But then I talk to people managing HR systems and I see the same mistakes over and over again.  Give this thing a read, put it aside, and read again.  Everyone who has these systems is clearly telling everyone else what mistakes not to make.

(apologies to KI for being so late writing about this)

Tagged in :

systematicHR Avatar