Leading firms like Google, Facebook, GE, and Time Warner Cable have repeatedly proved the competitive advantage offered by the right talent strategy. The source of success for these companies is not simply data, but the leveraging of data through analytics, and then optimizing their workforces – all enabled by technology platforms.

Whilst many modern organizations are using software applications and information systems across multiple areas of their business, the key challenge they face is bringing increasing volumes of information (from various sources) together to make informed and strategic decisions. A study by Bersin revealed that only 4% of companies are performing "predictive analytics". These leading organizations are using technology to approach HR differently, producing superior outcomes and business results.

The task of pulling together qualitative and quantitative information and associated data to produce usable insights typically requires an enormous amount of labor-intensive work, and the quality of the output largely depends on the analytical skills of the individual people involved. Technology solutions continue to grow and evolve, and there is already technology available to automate much of this work, interrogating information and finding correlations faster than any human could. The right technology platform can not only offer insights, but also provide ways to make changes to action those insights.

Compensation is a key element in aligning your workforce with your organization’s strategic outcomes through an effective talent strategy. Business strategy, value potential, and value created are the key drivers of compensation strategy.

Businesses already understand this at the executive level, as embodied in executive compensation strategies. Organizations tend to personalize executive roles to some degree, providing custom compensation packages for each role. The same benefits are available in the broader workforce, but this thinking has failed to extend deeper into the workforce mainly due to the highly manual nature of the work. It no longer needs to be such a manual process.

Today's technology gives organizations the opportunity to offer every employee personalized compensation. A higher level of customization and optimization means more targeted effort, less waste, and subsequently, business results.

In order to bring the rest of their workforce into alignment, organizations need modern technology that will analyze available data, identify all the valuable information, and use this information to create a cohesive strategy that is based on the value that their workforce can bring.

Talent management technology is common in many organizations. Typically, businesses use these systems to manage employees through activities like goal setting, succession planning, competency development/learning, recruiting, and career development. Talent management platforms enable organizations to enact a more strategic approach to human resource management, and some are seeing great results in terms of employee engagement, retention, succession planning and career development amongst other benefits.

Yet talent management is just about "managing" individual talent. It fails to close the gap between the current and desired talent pools, or to use that in the best way possible to deliver business outcomes.

Whilst talent management is about individual employees or roles, talent strategy is about optimizing workforces. Strategizing your organization’s workforce by using what you learn from talent management platforms, in order to analyze and plan your future talent needs produces much better results than simply managing business as usual.

When an organization going through a merger or acquisition, or has some other change in business direction, talent strategy analysis is key to identifying pivotal changes in the workforce, and planning where it needs to be in the future, in order to support the new business strategy.

The aim of talent strategy is to quantify the capabilities of the organization, leveraging employee capabilities to best enhance your workforce in pursuit of your organization’s goals. The benefits being realized by organizations that have talent management in place can only be further enhanced by having a more sophisticated and robust talent strategy.

Investing in technology to enhance your talent strategy will introduce sophisticated analysis in what is now a manual process of collating information from various sources and by various people. It creates significant efficiencies by reducing the need of multiple resources involved in the analysis, not to mention improving the quality of the derived information.

In this dynamic and increasingly competitive environment, organizations cannot afford to rely on intuition and manual analytics to make important business decisions. Modern technology platforms are available to enable your organization to be more efficient and strategic with your workforce management.

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