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Understanding Talent Management Systems

by YOSS Community Writer, on November 22, 2019 at 10:30 AM

Talent management is an approach to managing human resources that sees a business as a system. As a result, talent management addresses both current and future needs. It also helps to develop talent and retain it.


Human resources can be divided into three categories:

  1. Administration: what people typically think of HR as—payroll, benefits, grievance management, and so on.
  2. Services: information dissemination to workers, increasingly via intranets and other networked information systems.
  3. Talent management: the entire process of finding employees, onboarding them, helping them with professional development, encouraging retention, and replacement.

"Talent management" could be a simple recruitment process that reacts to whatever a business' current human resource needs require. However, businesses increasingly need to be proactive in their hiring and procurement. Using talent management to foster your workforce and create talent pools will make your business more productive.

Talent Management Systems

Talent management systems (TMS) are software applications and suites that allow HR departments to better manage all aspects of their workforce: recruiting, retention, development, and so on. A TMS is usually designed as a suite of tools. This allows an HR department to pick and choose the parts that specifically address their needs. 

Key Elements Of A Talent Management System

There are 7 parts of a typical TMS that are standard, but TMSs vary widely in how they are structured.

  1. Employee management: this is where the core function of a TMS exists. It allows you to perform strategic employee planning to determine the skills your company needs now and in the future.
  2. Recruiting: finding talent is critical to talent management. This part of a TMS may be where all recruitment management is done or an independent application may be used that’s integrated (or not) into the TMS.
  3. Performance management: employee performance must be monitored and managed for the good of the business and the employee. This can also help with employee development.
  4. Compensation management: this allows you to monitor and control compensation and other rewards (e.g., bonuses) provided to employees. It allows management on the individual and aggregate levels.
  5. Education: an important aspect of talent management is facilitating education. This spans methods of enabling outside learning to the creation of internal materials and courses.
  6. Employee development: providing guidance and a clear, meaningful career path can help both productivity and retention. This allows you to help employees develop and integrate with performance management and education.
  7. Succession planning: another critical aspect of talent management is preparing for the replacement of employees who move on. This helps you minimize downtime when positions sit unfilled.

All of these parts of a TMS interact to one extent or another. This is part of their power.

Why You Need a Talent Management System

Finding and retaining top talent is challenging, but it’s only getting more difficult. As a result, businesses are turning more and more to hybrid workforces that combine traditional employees with contingent workers. However, doing so requires more power and flexibility in your hiring practices.

You can use total talent management at your business without having a TMS. But having a system allows your HR efforts to be much more productive. They automate many aspects of talent management while connecting different functions together and with other aspects of your HR work. As a result, duplication of work is greatly reduced, if not eliminated.

Using a TMS also provides specific benefits:

  • Forecast: integrated data from the TMS can be more easily combined with business planning to better determine what your hiring needs will be in the future.
  • Hiring: the TMS allows you to streamline hiring by automating many functions and approaching different positions appropriately, as in whether a position should be filled by a freelancer or employee.
  • Retention: worker turnover is costly and a TMS allows you to monitor employees and get them the resources they need to be happy and productive.
  • Analysis: it is much easier to audit and improve your work with the reporting from a TMS.

As a result of these benefits, a TMS is a good fit for businesses of any size.

Talent Management System Costs

A TMS is generally priced in one of two ways: licensing or subscription. Licensing is the traditional approach where the company licenses the software for use on their own hardware. This is a one-time cost, but upgrades, maintenance, and support will generally be recurring costs if the software is used over the long-term.

Subscription-based plans are becoming the standard as SaaS becomes the most common model for TMSs. In these cases, the software, maintenance, and support are all managed by the vendor. Your company just pays a subscription fee, which is typically monthly.

Costs range a great deal based upon the vendor and the exact suite of tools. The per-employee cost ranges from roughly $5 to $20 per month. Some vendors require that you purchase a large number of licenses. Others provide tiers, such as a flat-fee for 1-10 licenses, which may make them expensive if you only have one or two employees.

Choosing a Talent Management System

A TMS isn't for every business. It depends upon your approach to HR. What's more, you may have already implemented parts of a TMS. That's especially likely if your business procures a lot of contingent and freelance workers.

If you are happy with your existing HRM, HCM, or ERP software, it's probably a good idea to contact your vendor to see how they can help you expand your talent management services.

If you think you need to start fresh, you should look at your current talent management processes. If they do not work well, no amount of software will help. Before shopping for a TMS, you need to determine the problems you want to solve and how you will go about this.

It’s also helpful to reach out to providers for demos to see how they would work with your company. Here are some additional thoughts to consider:

  • Does the TMS provide the functionality for all your talent management efforts?
  • Will the TMS work with your existing infrastructure? (Or are you willing to make changes to your infrastructure?)
  • Is the user interface useful and consistent? For example, will someone trained with the recruitment module be able to easily collect performance information?
  • What kind of support do you need and does the vendor supply it?
  • Is the TMS integrated the way you want it to be? For example, is recruitment information available after a hire for use with performance management and employee development?
  • Is the TMS usable on mobile devices?

Once you have narrowed your choices, you should try one or more demos to see how the TMS will work in your business using your processes and data. Even for a relatively small business, a TMS will cost many thousands of dollars over the years. You are potentially entering into a long-term relationship with the vendor and they should be willing to help you to determine the right choice.


If you want to improve your workforce practices, TMS' make it much easier. However, you need to make sure that your talent management processes are sound and that you find the right system to help you.

Talent management requires access to great candidates. At YOSS, we represent the very best pre-vetted freelancers in the world. We only engage with the top 1 percent of talent. So whether you are looking to fill a particular position or to shore up your talent pool, we can help.

Our mission is to make agile staffing easy for companies like yours so see how YOSS can help you manage or add to your workforce below with YOSS Talent Pools. 

Learn More About YOSS Talent Pools

Topics:Hiring SolutionsBusiness StrategyTalent ManagementFlexible TalentSystems Implementation and Integration