Skip to main content

Avoid HR Tech Implementation Disaster: Look After Your Talent Data First

Technology implementations are very often fraught with challenges, and technology for the HR space is no exception. 

42% of surveyed global HR professionals believed their HR technology rollouts had failed or were not fully successful two years after install. – Josh Bersin Co

But these projects do face an exceptional challenge: they often fail because of the way talent data is managed. Neglected, forgotten or simply mishandled, the data at the heart of any HR tool can be the difference between success… and delayed, costly failure. 

Even when a project does finish on time and on budget, the wrong approach to data can spell disaster. 63% of employees stop using technology if they don’t see its relevance to their day-to-day work; HR tech that cannot work alongside other systems will not see adoption – or ROI. 

How do you get greater productivity, enhanced agility, and seamless integration, through each HR technology investment? The answer is a more thoughtful approach to managing the data involved.  

Talent data: Complicated, incomplete, fragmented & inconsistent 

Data about people is tricky. People are complicated, and the “data” is rarely a neat series of ones and zeros. It is subjective and unstructured, so it’s hard to put it neatly in a spreadsheet. You can’t just take what is in one system and “upload” it to your new platform. 

It’s often incomplete. What we know about one group – say, employees with a long tenure – we may not know about another (people who applied for roles in the past, alumni who’ve been gone a long time, proactively sourced candidates, new joiners). 

It’s fragmented. Information about what training employees have had might live in your LMS; information about their skills in your ATS; information about what those skills are worth? Maybe it lives in someone’s brain, if anywhere. How do you bring it together?

It’s not easy to keep it consistent. The way people (or jobs) are described in one system won’t necessarily match how those are described in others. As well as working to different definitions, some systems do a better job than others at keeping up to date with new hires, and what people have learned and what roles or projects they’ve taken on. 

Talent-related data is complicated and ever-changing. It’s hard to bring together and normalize, and ensure it can actually be USED to deliver useful outcomes. Bringing in a new HR technology platform to your organization will generally only add to the chaos and complexity. 


The bigger picture 

If you ignore the issues with talent data, then what happens next? 

If the new solution can’t actually ‘speak’ to the other elements of your tech stack, it certainly won’t be easy to get a new tool deployed, and then adopted, and then delivering value. You won’t be able to see the benefits promised to you: better quality hires, faster time to hire, improved productivity…    

If you feed it with data that is inconsistent and incomplete, you will likely face significant downstream impacts – on things like total rewards, performance management, and filling critical skills gaps efficiently.  

You could spend additional budget on external consultants (or take lots of time internally) to make the data consistent, complete and normalized… but this is a short-term fix. What happens when the people-related data inevitably changes? 

Or you could start by solving the problem of standardized and normalized talent data, and make every HR tech project a lot easier – and a lot more additive. 

The middleware solution 

To begin, it’s worth establishing a common “language” for all your talent-related data. We recommend using the language of “skills” when it comes to describing talent and roles. This helps ensure people can be easily matched to opportunities, in a fair, efficient and effective way, while making it far easier to manage and maintain your data.  

Rather than bringing in yet another siloed HR tool, you should consider how you get accurate, dynamic and comprehensive insights – starting with a single source of truth for candidate, employee, alumni and talent community data. A single platform for viewing information related to people and roles – even when this data sits in a range of places – enables strategic management that aligns with business goals.

This single platform – the middleware solution – should be able to ingest data from your other tools, such as Workday, and use it to enrich what is already in there, or feed systems like talent marketplaces – continually. With automation in real time, you will get more value from existing tools, and speed up any new implementations. 

Ideally, you’d be able to take action based on insights, quickly, from inside the solution – and enjoy advanced security features, total data compliance peace of mind, flexible user access options, and the ability to port data easily (if you change other HR systems in the future). 

With ethical, explainable AI, the right partnerships, industry-leading integrations, and a robust data management framework, Beamery has the tools to help you manage talent data far more effectively. It gives you not only an excellent resource for talent planning, hiring and redeployment, but a smart way to keep all your OTHER talent management systems on the same page. 

Contact us today, to discuss how Beamery can help you get more from your HR tech – and help you mitigate risk in your next big deployment.