It is fast becoming unthinkable to run a modern HR function without a modern talent management system (TMS). And yet, selecting the right TMS for your organization can be a daunting task.
With the talent management market evolving so rapidly, there are many options available to you. Further, the decision on "what to buy" needs to take into account many considerations including your organization's business priorities, talent strategies and culture.
In the white paper Selecting a Talent Management System: Secrets from the Experts, Heidi Spirgi of Knowledge Infusion states:
"Mid-sized firms are especially dependent in getting a good TMS; they have sophisticated needs and don't have the resources big firms have to paper over inefficiencies."
So no pressure, right?
Key questions any talent management vendor should be able to answer
To help you in the TMS vendor selection process we've put together a list of must-have questions to include in your RFP/RFI. While this list is not exhaustive it does highlight some key questions vendors should be able to answer.
You don't just want a vendor; you want a provider who can help your organization success at talent management. So be sure to ask questions that delve into what makes this vendor uniquely able to deliver outstanding value to you, such as:
What differentiates your firm and software from your competitors?
Describe how your keep your customers engaged after the sale.
You'll want to know how the vendor supports customer satisfaction and quality assurance so you'll want to ask questions like:
Do you have a formal process for seeking client input into product development?
What are your procedures for monitoring client satisfaction?
Technical requirements will be unique to your talent management needs and to the security/privacy and operating policies of your organization, so be sure to include questions like:
How is data imported/exported from the talent management system?
Describe your disaster recovery plan. When was it tested last?
Is there a data classification policy in place?
If your application is cloud-based, how will our data be kept safe and separate from the data of other customers? Describe the security applications and protocols implemented to prevent unauthorized access to all hosted data and configuration settings, including on-site and remote access authentication.
Implementation and training
Implementation and training are critical components to gaining organizational buy-in into a new TMS. Even if you have the strategy, processes and right software in place. So be sure to ask questions that clarify the vendor's own experience and approach to these key steps and the responsibilities of all parties:
Describe your implementation methodology, what makes your approach unique. Do you have an on-site implementation team, or is implementation conducted remotely?
What are the roles and responsibilities for your company and for our company during the implementation process?
Is training delivered to our team exclusively or in a group setting with other customers?
What is unique about your proposed training option?
Of course, the functional requirements needed vary depending on your talent management strategy and business needs. Here is a sampling of requirements questions to consider:
What are the high value benefits of your performance management solution?
How does your system integrate with an Learning Management System to support employee development?
Is there a competency library included in your system? If so please describe it. Can customers import third party libraries or our own library be imported? Can we add competencies at any time?
Can reports be created by our internal team or does report creation require your involvement, please explain?
Can the multirater feedback be accessed in the performance review process? If so, how and by whom?
Setting yourself up for success in the talent management vendor RFP/RFI process
The above list of questions is by no means exhaustive. It's why you might want to download this sample RFP/RFI template for a talent management system.
It covers a broad example of requirement considerations - including the questions above - for vendor selection from recruiting to performance management to learning management and succession planning.
We understand that the typical process for selecting and evaluating talent management software involves a lot of planning and many stakeholders. You might also be interested in downloading the buyer's guide on selecting talent management software referenced above. You'll get detailed recommendations from seasoned HR technology experts to help your selection process.
Hope you found the above list of questions useful. Best of luck in your TMS vendor selection process!