Before the Buy: 3 Steps to Improve Talent Management Tech Selection

Given the season, imagine handing out presents that make less than half of your recipients happy. Not so merry or bright, is it? Still, according to research from McKinsey & Company, the average technology investment delivers less than half of its anticipated value. In fact, some 17 percent of large IT projects go so badly that they can threaten the very existence of the company. Even so, oftentimes it’s the selection process, not the investment, that’s at fault. And with retaining top employees and managing talent topping most employers’ wish lists this year, tightening up the selection process is a surefire way to select a solution that will keep on giving. 

More often than not, HR technology investments fail when goals aren’t clearly defined at the outset or the technology selected is unable to scale or handle the complexity of the business. This happens because most organizations begin the process by ranking the technologies based on features and attributes, market share, or other criteria. While this approach can work to help narrow the field, the resulting short list may overlook a solution that best matches a specific need. So, before having the “what to buy” discussion, it’s more important to understand business challenges and set expectations for how technology will solve them long-term.
Step 1 – Determine existing pressure points. Finding the right technology requires a clear understanding of what the organization is seeking to accomplish and how the features of the system can support its goals. Start by asking questions that will help identify existing issues, such as: Are there bottlenecks delaying decision-making? Does the organization have visibility into talent? What are the cost opportunities? Are HR leaders spending too much time on administration? 
Step 2 – Identify the influencers. Look beyond the budget holders to those individuals who will regularly interact with the system. The right committee will balance users, stakeholders, executive team members, and business leaders to engage a wide range of perspectives and ensure that business and user needs are addressed. Take the time to establish a common starting place to guarantee committee members are equally informed and focused on solving the issue at hand. 
Step 3 – Keep an eye on the future. Talent management is complex and continually evolving. Changing workforce demographics, more global and virtual workforces, and other trends impact organizations, and require that today’s employers select a scalable solution that can evolve with talent management strategies. Consider how success will be evaluated, and how the technology may suit the organization in the years to come.  
Forming a comprehensive selection strategy before shopping will ensure the right questions are asked during the evaluation process and that the selected talent management solution will align with business goals. As a result, the company will also be able to ensure better ROI and that the solution produces the desired results. What could be a better present than that? 


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