SAP and SuccessFactors, Let’s Not Forget About the Basics of What Makes Talent Management Effective

Much has been written and tweeted about SAP’s announcement last December 3 that it will acquire SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion. Granted that SuccessFactors is a provider of talent management software, but software alone does not get at the core of what makes for effective talent management. That is why it is very intriguing to me – now that Twitter and blogging are “in vogue” – that all the excitement has been centered on the SaaS over the Internet buzzword “cloud.”

Don’t get me wrong, SaaS talent management is a great enabler, and terrific for SAP to have, providing employers with the tools to do performance management. But talent management is about attracting, developing, and retaining the best talent. Good recruitment technology helps attract candidates and software can help in doing performance management, but it is not going to develop and retain talent for you — now that would be a breakthrough if it did! As most of us are keenly aware, thanks to data provided by the likes of Randstad and Manpower (http://bit.ly/ujuMhC), there is a talent shortage and employers can help themselves by engaging and retaining the talent that they have. To do so requires the good old fashioned basics that the cloud cannot replace.

Organizational change is not going to happen if continual investment is not made in people as well as technology. Having conducted retention studies and managed employee programs, I can tell you first hand that the top reasons why talent leaves typically include:

  • Dissatisfaction with supervision and/or leadership
  • Lack of recognition
  • Lack of developmental opportunities
  • Lack of a career path
  • The desire for more challenging and engaging work
  • Work/life balance.

Money by itself is not a motivator!

Call me old school, but I’m much more excited when I see things like:

  • Cornerstone sponsoring a Ken Blanchard webinar on the 14th of December: Helping People Win at Work, including the use of performance reviews to develop people, how to set clear goals, provide year-round coaching, and build an engaging performance-based culture
  • PageUp’s webinar last week showing  global employers how to retain critical talent with career planning
  • Contracts awarded to Kenexa for employee engagement surveys, including with Unilever for 140,000 employees globally, to not just conduct surveys, but help with action planning to act on any issues identified to improve employee engagement
  • Many of Ochre House’s RPO contracts also include: KPIs to reduce attrition, accomplished by conducting exit interviews, providing a dashboard with reasons why people leave, exploring problem areas in depth, and making recommendations to client leadership. In addition, OchreHouse often conducts employee satisfaction surveys and has a “Keep In Touch” program for recruiters to keep in touch with new hires to ensure successful transition and retention.

I’m just beginning to conduct my next global learning BPO market analysis. My Q4 2010 study found that companies are just beginning to invest again in leadership and performance management to increase employee engagement and retention. I’ll be looking for evidence that this is happening.

Employers, are you making the investments needed in your employees?

Gary Bragar, HRO Research Director, NelsonHall

Interested in reading the latest HRO news from NelsonHall? Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing amy.gurchensky@nelson-hall.com with “HRO Insight” as the subject.

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One Comment on “SAP and SuccessFactors, Let’s Not Forget About the Basics of What Makes Talent Management Effective”

  1. Sarah Says:

    I read this article and it is very informative and interesting..I refer your blog to many of my friends as well.Thanks for sharing knowledge.


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