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Use Talent Management to Make the Most of your New Hire

Use Talent Management to Make the Most of your New Hire

By: John Rossheim 
The story is all too familiar. A sizable company makes half a dozen new hires and their visibility to anyone outside their own department immediately plummets.

Over time, even as these employees become bored and discontented, demand for their skills in distant divisions of the company increases dramatically. But opportunities for advancement -- of both the individuals’ careers and the company’s business – are lost in the information void.

Happily, with contemporary talent management systems that integrate everything from application tracking to succession planning, this story need not repeat itself. Here’s what mid-sized and large employers are doing to write a better ending for every new hire.

Your ATS should mesh with post-hire tracking. To ensure that you optimize your new hires' long-term value, choose an application tracking system (ATS) that's compatible with talent management tools. “ATSs by and large can track post-hire activities,” says Marilyn Sherief, product manager for Monster’s Talent Management Suite in Maynard, Mass.

Full integration offers better value. When TMS functions don't come integrated, they make a misnomer of talent management system -- they're unmanageable and they aren't truly a system. “Not all talent-management systems are integrated with the ATS," says Erin Osterhaus, managing editor at Software Advice in Austin, Texas.

"Sometimes talent management is just tacked on. When it’s an integrated system, it works a lot more smoothly and there are fewer bugs. It’s much quicker to learn; it’s easier for the users to figure out what’s going on."

Look for robust onboarding functionality. “Onboarding solutions should have forms management for compliance and automation of administrative processes, IT to get new employees set up, and so on,” says Madeline Laurano, research director of talent acquisition solutions in Aberdeen Group’s human capital management research practice in Boston.

Unify information on each employee. Make sure all stakeholders populate your TMS with relevant information on each new hire. “From the onboarding stage, the entire purpose of a talent management system is to streamline the process and put all the info about the new employee in one place,” says Osterhaus.

“The HR person has access to that information, the hiring manager can leave notes and also see what the recruiter has said about the then-candidate.”

Use TMS to document employees' full range of skills. During the first week, have a broad discussion with new hires that goes beyond their qualifications for the job they just started. “Day one on the job offers an incredible opportunity for the employer to take inventory of skill sets that may not have been interviewed for, but the new employee has them and they may be of value to the company,” says Paul Rubenstein, leader of product strategy for talent solutions at Aon Hewitt .

Deliver, document common core of company knowledge. Use your TMS to bootstrap employee learning. “Training and development can be incorporated and tracked with a TMS, even beginning with onboarding,” says Sherief.

“For example, some companies have new hires go through a learning module on privacy policy and procedures to make sure new hires are managing the sharing of information in a way that doesn’t compromise that information."

Track achievements as a basis for succession planning. Treat each new hire as a potential key executive. “Integrated performance management makes succession planning a lot easier," says Osterhaus. "You can see how employees have grown from the beginning, who's grabbed opportunities, who’s a go-getter.”

Give employees access to their information. Employees should be granted access to TMS information on themselves wherever possible, from employee performance evaluations to internal job openings they may choose to pursue.

“When the TMS is accessible by employees, they can see their options for training, for example," says Osterhaus. "This helps retention because employees feel they can grow with the company.”
For higher retention, chart a development path. A TMS can help “lay out a path for ongoing education and training, starting out with foundational skills for the company," says Rubenstein.

"Just the act of setting that path sends a message about the company's investment in the employee. That message will persist for a good period and will ultimately be reflected in better employee retention.”
Systemize recognition to boost retention. Make sure that each time an employee is formally recognized, that recognition is tracked, facilitated and shared, wherever appropriate, through the TMS. “Recognition is becoming very big in talent management," says Laurano.

"Look for a social recognition function that enables sharing of achievements. Talent management tools help with recognition and engagement, which in turn help with retention.”

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