Why L&D Teams Need to Embrace Talent Management Systems

It’s time for L&D teams to take back their turf. In many organizations talent management systems (TMSs) are under the purview of HR because the posting of job openings, and recruiting and hiring candidates, are core tasks of human resources professionals.

But modern TMSs do so much more than organize resumes and guide hiring decisions. Few L&D teams would deny their role in the new-employee training that is part and parcel of onboarding. Nor would they hand HR key L&D roles in training employees. But by ceding the TMS space to human resources personnel, L&D teams do just that!

“Training is all about developing employees and improving individual and group performance and knowledge in organizational settings,” said Nissim Titan, CEO of 4Cast. He described three types of training:

  • Training of employees for their roles in the organization
  • Educating employees about the organization, its values, guiding principles, global status, etc.
  • Developing employees to improve their skillsets and performance

These learning tasks are integral parts of TMSs, which according to TechTarget generally address four pillars of employee recruitment and development:

  1. Recruitment—Software aids the complex process of finding and communicating with appropriate candidates using a variety of means, including social media platforms.
  2. Learning—Most corporations would rather keep good employees than search for replacements; offering professional development is one way to do this. TMSs often include modules to aid companies in ensuring that employees’ skills stay sharp, and that they learn new ones as workplace technology and needs change.
  3. Performance management—As performance management models move away from the dreaded annual review and toward a model where managers provide more frequent coaching, talent management software aids in tracking goals and progress.
  4. Compensation—Many TMSs offer compensation management tools that can replace unwieldy spreadsheets.

The TMS complements the LMS

The TMS is more of a complement to the LMS than a duplicate system. It can help managers make better decisions throughout an employee’s career.

Titan describes his company’s products as “advanced decision support systems” that can “increase personnel competency and readiness.” 4Cast, an Israeli software company with offices in Missoula, Montana, creates immersive training solutions, decision support solutions, and talent management systems.

The 4Cast TMS “enables organizations to understand and rate their levels of competence and the decisions they can make, as well as the consequences of each decision,” Titan said. As a result, “it ensures performance management and decision-making competence and readiness, when it counts.”

For instance, after tracking an employee’s career trajectory in the TMS, a manager might determine that the employee is a good candidate for promotion; on the other hand, the TMS could reveal a skills gap before it becomes evident through a missed a target—or help the manager plan training to prepare the employee to take on a new stretch project. The information captured in the TMS is instrumental in helping the manager identify training and performance support needs for the employee.

A TMS can support decision-making in other ways. It is likely to have data on a job candidate’s prior experience and training, for example. Once that candidate becomes an employee, HR may continue to track learning and skills development, as well as that individual’s progress and performance. L&D teams can mine this information to identify skills gaps in the workforce as a whole or in specific teams. Managers might use the same data to identify an employee with a needed skill that isn’t being leveraged.

According to Steve Foreman’s recent Guild research report, Trends in Learning Technology, the LMS is the primary learning platform in three-quarters of companies. Once skill gaps and future needs are identified with the aid of the TMS, managers and L&D teams are likely to create training paths that lead directly through the LMS.

The employee might need or want other types of learning and performance support besides eLearning, of course. The LMS—like the TMS—is part of a broad learning ecosystem that expands the options that managers can offer employees seeking professional development.

Leveraging talent management systems

Corporate digital learning has moved far beyond eLearning courses and virtual classrooms. Leveraging the talent management system is just one innovative way that L&D teams can enhance the way they support efforts to train and retain employees. Download The eLearning Guild’s research report, Trends in Learning Technology, to learn more.

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