Break free of the Talent Tech straight jacket, so you can dance to your own beat.

Talent tech stack decisions are being made due to relieve short term issues. This needs to be replaced with aligning to strategy, purposefully designing a solution that addresses the talent lifecycle with an intelligent data/insight driven approach.

Dancing with a straight jacket on… it’s a heck of an image right! The music is blaring … you’re desperate to break into your best ‘flossing’ moves but it’s impossible to cut loose and express yourself! Well, that’s how many organisations are feeling when they’re trying to create a funky user experience and express themselves how they want… but tech has become their party pooper!

According to KPMG’s ‘what’s keeping us up at night’ report on the pressing issues for C-level executives, 77% of them say that hiring, retaining and up-skilling/re-skilling talent is their number one priority.

However, almost every customer that we meet has the same challenge – their technology and data insights are hampering their ability to address this priority with the right experience, efficiency and effectiveness. Many of them are sitting on SAP, Oracle, or Workday where they were sold the dream on ‘1 platform to rule them all’, but have very quickly realised that their dancing dreams have been crushed.

What’s the cause? So many talent tech stack decisions are being made due to relieve short term issues. This needs to be replaced with aligning to strategy, purposefully designing a solution that addresses the talent lifecycle with an intelligent data/insight driven approach.

C-level mindset & willingness is finally catching up!

TQ’s Talent Maturity Model, using data gathered from 2020-2022, indicates that there has been a dramatic shift at the C-level in understanding the importance of Talent driven initiatives. According to our analysis, companies have a talent maturity rating of Progressive – High (83%) when responding to whether the HR function had adequate executive level representation. So HR has a seat at the table (we all know the pandemic accelerated this), so now they need to capitalise on this to drive the people & talent agenda forward.

We’ve seen solid maturing around areas such as ‘a people first agenda’ being seen as a contributor to business success’ (78% maturity score – there is still more to do here though), and ‘the development of people’s skills & capabilities is a fundamental part of the organisational strategy’ (73% maturity score) – there is still a lot of work to be done here, given the lack of focus within skills development over the years.

Poor people & talent analytics are a handbrake to get the backing to invest in the right stack!

Whilst it’s great the business is prioritising people/talent initiatives, there is still a business case to put forward for investment. However, HR/Talent teams generally struggle to produce compelling business cases due to a lack of effective measurement from People & Talent related programs and initiatives.

Our analysis uncovered a maturity level of 38% when it came to having effective people & talent analytics to provide the insights to support the business case. Without this they cannot gain the investment they need in tech to deliver on their strategy. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and this cycle needs to be broken.

We’ve worked with a number of businesses in the last year where the data is so fragmented (and in some cases doesn’t even exist) that it can be challenging to provide the underlying evidence to support the investment or even prioritise where it’s most needed.

What you can do:

  • Define what insights are the most important and impactful within the business.
  • Cleanse the data you have.
  • Establish clear technology principles & governance around data quality and entry.
  • Build a sustainable integration approach that focuses on data flow into the right areas to create the insights that are important.
  • Invest in a BI or People Analytics product (Tableau, MS Dynamics, Sisense, Visier) to aggregate data to produce the data visualisation you need.

Be purposeful in the design of your talent tech stack/roadmap to ensure enhanced experiences and organisational effectiveness.

Designing a talent tech stack and roadmap can be really challenging. For enterprise and large organisations there are critical compliance and core data requirements to ensure that the complex HR, ERP and payroll considerations are managed effectively.

That’s why you see so many businesses implementing SAP, Oracle and Workday as their core HR solution. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying these systems are no good (however they aren’t exactly shooting the lights out around the recruitment or onboarding), but they are so configurable that it can be tempting for organisations to lift and shift broken processes from previous systems, which often exaggerates the problem.

According to our Talent Maturity model analysis, organisations only rank at 41% for their technology being designed and deployed with user experience and moments that matter in mind. This indicates that there is just not enough thought going into ‘purposeful’ design of HR and Talent systems.

An enterprise tech stack has many layers and they are underpinned by clarity on ‘the moments that matter’ within a lifecycle for defined user groups. Below is an example of an enterprise tech stack view that has an intelligence and experience layer; a data and compliance layer; and an enabling tools layer.

What you can do:

  • Get clear on the key problems to solve. Engaging a consulting partner who can help you understand ‘what good looks like’ and the ‘art of the possible’ may surface problems you didn’t think existed.
  • Define the purpose of the system – who is doing what, where and why.
  • Incorporate the voice of your customers (internally and externally) into your design considerations.
  • Your broader tech strategy is important… so ensure you are engaging with your internal technology team.
  • Consider whether your core data and compliance layer (ATS, HRIS) can provide a best of breed enabling tools or experience capability. This may reduce the complexity within your stack.
  • Integration is key, so ensure that you have thought through and understand what data is flowing from where and in what format.
  • Automation represents a huge opportunity for time saving. Quick wins could be in areas that are admin heavy and repetitive.

In all likelihood, if you’ve read this far, you’ll probably agree your current tech stack doesn’t solve the problems you have. You know you’d be able to get more support for your strategy and initiatives if you had better data. You know that errors in integration and automation are killing you slowly!! So why is this still happening?

I believe it’s mainly because organisations are too quick to focus on short term pain relief (just replace the tech that isn’t working) and end up kicking the main issues (a holistic and considered talent tech/innovation strategy) down the road!

So it’s time to release the buckles from your straight jacket, throw it to the ground, turn the music up and cut loose on the dance floor practicing those super slick moves you’ve always been wanting to try.

Find out more from one of our TQ people today.