We’re preparing to meet senior HR and L&D decision makers at next week’s HR Inspired Conference – and to talk through with them how best to implement and deploy talent management software.
If you’re thinking about introducing or updating talent management software, below are some questions you may want to ask your potential suppliers.
1. We’re starting to look at introducing talent management software in one area of our talent work, but how can we make sure that as we progress, the software can continue to support us?
Typically organisations start their talent management journey by focussing on, and implementing, perhaps in one area such as 360 degree feedback or performance management – and then, as the value is witnessed by the business and the information is used, move on to incorporate a further area such as succession planning or employee engagement. Similarly, why be obliged to buy a full suite, when now you may only be ready, or want to focus on implementing one successfully? Is the supplier’s offer commercially flexible enough to enable you to do this, or do you have to buy it all while half of it sits on the shelf or worse, require you to implement more than you need just to get the part you want working? Challenge the sales folk on this.
The key is to look at the broader offering of the supplier and not to sign up with a single ‘specialist’ that then cannot support you as your needs change. It’s about making sustainable change. The Talent system is modular and customisable with means it can grow as your organisation does and you don’t need to buy or implement it all at once when you or your managers and employees just aren’t ready for it.
2. We’ve fallen foul in the past to limited availability or uptime of software. What should I be looking for?
To make talent management embedded within your organisation, you need to have your talent management software available when it’s needed by your people. In 2012, Head Light’s Talent system was available 99.999% of the time – and in 2013, it was available 100% of the time. Check how other suppliers compare.
3. Is there a guarantee with the talent management software?
You may be asked this internally by your own team, so ask it of the supplier. Head Light guarantees its service availability and, if you adopt the Talent Performance module and providing that you work with us to calculate the expected ROI, we guarantee a return on your investment.
4. To what extent are we be self-sufficient in the day to day usage and customisation of the software?
This will depend on the talent management software you have purchased. The Talent system from Head Light enables great self-sufficiency and we show you in on-site and webinar training how best to use and adapt the software so it follows your process and your way of working.
5. And when we have problems, how are we supported?
At the outset you should expect implementation support and training on the system so that you are able to meet the immediate needs of your people. And that is what we, at Head Light, do for all our clients. For those more common questions, you can search our Knowledge Bank. Our experts are also available through our online support Helpdesk which is staffed by experienced training and software specialists. We are proud of our support response times: we close support calls within an average of 43 minutes; close 99.2% of support calls within one working day and 90.4% of calls are closed on the same working day.
6. How often will the software be updated and what do I need to budget for this?
You will need to look at on-going costs for upgrades – or choose to work with a supplier which provides upgrades as part of the annual fees. At Head Light, we provide updates and upgrades usually to or three times a year – at no additional fee.
7. Security is a real concern for us. What safeguards do you have?
In addition to our data centre being secure, we also encrypt all data and doubly encrypt passwords. Backups are also encrypted and remain on site in Europe in a secure facility and mirrored to a standby facility. Our Helpdesk Staff are security vetted, our data handling procedures and policies Government audited and our software both penetration tested and cyber-vulnerability assessed and validated. Your data could well be more secure in our hands than in your own IT Department!
8. How do you notify customers regarding the software updates?
You will want to know when and how the software gets to be upgraded. At Head Light we not only issue release notes of additions to functionality but schedule the upgrade at a time that suits you and your business – and, if it isn’t convenient, you stay on your version until you are ready.
9. How can I influence product development?
You’ll have great ideas for how your own use of talent management software can develop in your organisation – and many of these may also be beneficial for other organisations. You may be able to customise or adapt the system yourself if you have chosen a flexible system but there will always be other ideas you have. At Head Light we hold client consultation periods once a year during which we ask for comment and feedback on our proposals which we have developed from the feedback and suggestions come to us via our support desk and from our conversations with our User Group which are held twice a year and are free to attend.
We look forward to meeting you at HR Inspired, and to answering all your questions. If you are not attending and you'd like to talk about implementing talent management software in your organisation, then do get in touch.