Talent Management Systems – Future and Reality

The Talent Management Systems market is witnessing a continued surge. Companies are either leveraging talent management functions that have remained as shelfware or implementing new SaaS solutions from vendors like Oracle, SAP (SuccessFactors), IBM (Kenexa), Cornerstone, Saba to name a few.

Here is what the Future Looks Like

According to Bersin, the Integrated talent management systems market will be a $6Billion industry in 2014 and is being driven by skill shortages, social technologies, mobile adoption, SaaS adoption, and the need for integrated talent management function.The Learning & Development function is also witnessing its own revolution with the predicted move to MOOCs within enterprises and interactive digital content. Its hardly surprising as many of these trends are reshaping entire industries and talent management function is no exception.

The Future – Reality Gap

800px-Mind_the_gap_2Not all functions have gone mobile yet: An interesting data point that I would like to highlight is from the 2014 Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report for Talent Management Systems. According to Gartner, “despite a plethora of demo scenarios showing talent review and/or succession data on tablets or smartphones, less than 5% of talent management suite customer reference survey respondents are currently using this capability; however, almost 41% either plan to deploy within the next 12 months or are considering it within 24 months.”

But according to Gartner, “Recruiting continues to lead the way in mobile usage with more than 19% of customers surveyed currently enable candidates to use mobile devices during the hiring process, and over 31% plan to deploy this capability within 24 months. More than 17% of survey participants currently allow mobile device access by recruiters and hiring managers, and another 31% are considering deploying this capability in the next 24 months. Even if all of these organizations follow through on their plans, mobile recruiting usage will be at or under 50% of companies within the next two years.”

Pockets of Cloud / SaaS Hold-outs: We see similar hold-outs in the cloud / SaaS adoption. certain geographies or industries are resistant to keeping confidential data outside the firewall.

Collaboration can Wait: The situation is more pronounced when it comes social collaboration. This is where we see a big gap between the prediction and the reality. Once again this is what Gartner had to say – “Social software has had a significant impact on recruitment (it is being used by almost 44% of respondents, with another 22% planning to deploy within 24 months), but has not yet achieved significant adoption in performance or learning. Over one-third of customer reference survey respondents report use of collaboration workgroups (34.6%), with another 16% planning or considering implementing them within 24 months. Usage of leading-edge social capabilities falls off considerably in the survey sample; as an example, only 13.6% of respondents currently use social network analysis, and almost the same number (13.7%) are considering usage in the next 24 months.

MOOCs have a long way to go: Finally, all predictions about MOOCs and highly interactive / custom Digital Content deployment (not the ones created using rapid authoring tools) is way off from the current reality. This is a fact that doesn’t need any survey or analyst research. I am not disputing the future direction, just highlighting the reality of today.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy


I love to read and share thoughts on technology, enterprise learning, mobile and any thing cool that impacts enterprises.

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Posted in Mobile Learning, Talent Management
One comment on “Talent Management Systems – Future and Reality
  1. […] what happened in the talent management and enterprise learning space in the recent past? Pure play LMS vendors […]

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