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Is HCM for Everyone?

Written By: Raluca Druta
Published On: January 9 2013

Human capital management (HCM) software is traditionally understood as addressing human resource (HR) plus talent management business requirements. While HR software is now quite affordable and adopted by many businesses, a comprehensive HCM suite that includes talent management modules is not equally accessible. Talent management products are relatively new on the market. Some of them, especially niche solutions, carry high integration costs, and others are expensive due to the novelty of the technology that they employ.  However, talent management is attractive for almost all businesses regardless of their size, industry, or workforce particularities.

Indeed, talent management provides not only a way to find the right talent for a company but most importantly a means to develop and retain talent. Identifying potential is an essential part of any talent management strategy, and its benefits are obvious. First, this can help companies cope with underperforming individuals by giving the tools to employ these people’s skills in better suited positions. Second, it allows for sufficient individual career development planning. Third, accurately identifying talent can aid in recognizing potential leaders within the organization.

These are all seductive aspects of talent management, as organizations dread losing or misusing valuable individuals that they continuously invest in. But, temptation should be rationalized. HCM may prove to be inefficient for certain companies. For example, organizations with high staff turnover due to the nature of certain jobs (e.g. call centers or retail) might want to focus on talent acquisition and fast employee adaptation rather than identifying and developing potential. Such companies should perhaps acknowledge that certain jobs are likely to be temporary for most people. Since most talent management suites are modular, acquiring competitive recruitment and staffing and onboarding systems is desirable, in this case. In so doing companies can benefit from recruitment and staffing software capabilities to organize interviews, screen candidates, and make final hiring decisions. Onboarding software further assists with new employees’ rapid knowledge and skill acquisition.

Small companies are typically dependent on qualified experts that they grow internally, since they cannot afford the ready-to-hire top talent available on the job market. But, often times they find themselves at a loss, as employees move on soon after reaching a certain level of competence. For these companies, investing in employee motivation assessment programs instead of talent management may be the key to retaining talent. Motivation is unique to each individual; some people are motivated by money, others by who they work with, others by how stimulating their job is, and the list goes on. Since small companies employ very few people, buying a software solution that assists with recognizing potential might be inefficient, as most employees’ potential is probably already well-known. Small companies are noted for offering their employees a flexible work environment, a benefit generally much-appreciated by workers. Smaller enterprises would gain from focusing on further understanding the motivational triggers of their employees and optimizing their resources in response to what makes their employees happy.

In lieu of acquiring a full-scale HCM suite, smaller or high-turnover companies that cannot fully benefit from HCM solutions might want to consider other approaches to dealing with human capital management challenges. These approaches might include identifying what is viral or in other words what makes things unprofitable and inefficient for the company, then mapping the rhythm in which personnel fluctuates as well as what triggers the fluctuation, and finally assessing whether the fluctuation can be prevented or simply understood as a natural part of a company’s operations. Consequently, processes and tools can be employed to help with staff turnover. If not properly equipped with sufficient software or expertise, companies can outsource some tedious processes, such as recruitment, staffing, and employee assessment.
 
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