What is a Talent Management System?

Meredith Wholley
6 min readSep 21, 2022


Your HR team uses lots of software solutions to manage the administrative parts of human resources, like payroll, health insurance, timesheets, vacation time, and other benefits. Often, you use other systems still to conduct people management tasks related to employee engagement and performance. Then you use more systems — sometimes manual systems — to recognize employees and plan for the future. A talent management system combines, supports, and simplifies these processes to help your HR team create an incredible employee experience.

More than 80% of HR leaders say that the success of an organization depends largely on getting employee experience right. You can use a talent management system to do just that.

What is Talent Management?

We’ve talked about talent management and how it differs from talent acquisition more in-depth previously on the ClearCompany blog. In short, talent management means supporting employees throughout the talent lifecycle — their whole tenure with your company. With a process for talent management, employees receive ongoing training, continuous feedback, and ample opportunity to improve and grow their skills.

Talent management has many benefits for employees and businesses alike:

  • Increases employee engagement and motivation, resulting in increased productivity
  • Demonstrates to employees that your company is invested in their growth and success
  • Closes skills gaps in your workforce and boosts internal mobility
  • Increases employee retention, cutting down on hiring costs

Lack of engagement at work costs the U.S. an estimated $450 to $550 billion in lost productivity each year. On the other hand, companies whose employees are highly engaged are 21% more profitable. Long story short? It pays (literally and figuratively) to invest in your employees, and it’ll cost you (again, literally and figuratively) if you don’t.

You can cut down on lost productivity costs by implementing talent management strategies at your organization. Let’s get into the many ways a talent management system helps with that.

Get More Insight: ClearCompany has the talent management resources you need to manage the full employee lifecycle.

The Benefits of Talent Management Systems

Because they link the entire employee lifecycle, talent management systems are arguably the most important tool in an HR team’s toolkit. Talent management software is where HR can manage, monitor, analyze, and improve processes related to recruitment, hiring, onboarding, engagement, performance, and succession planning.

A talent management system provides a framework for recruiting, engaging, and retaining the best candidates for every role. It enables HR teams to create candidate and employee experiences that are seamless, interesting, and enjoyable. A reliable talent management solution takes every stage of the employee lifecycle into consideration, which leads to engaged, motivated, long-term employees.

Talent management systems are also a centralized dashboard where HR, hiring teams, and managers can find everything they need to find, hire, engage, and evaluate employees:

  • HR can find, hire, and onboard new employees in the same system where they launch employee engagement surveys and performance review cycles.
  • Hiring teams can look at candidate profiles in the same system where they review interview packets and submit interview scorecards.
  • Managers can set goals for their teams and give out kudos in the same system where they write performance reviews and provide feedback on goals progress.

Features of Top Talent Management Systems

Top talent management systems are made up of tools that consolidate all of the various parts of the employee experience. Let’s take a look at the primary software tools used to manage and execute strategies for recruitment, hiring, engagement, and more.

Applicant Tracking System

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are software tools used to recruit and interview candidates. ATSs perform several essential functions that reduce manual work for HR teams and create an engaging candidate experience. Your ATS tools should include:

  • Job board posting and career sites with your employer branding
  • Applications that are accessible via mobile devices and that can be submitted via text
  • Texting tools for easy communication between candidates and recruiters
  • Automated interview scheduling tools
  • Analytics for insight into your pool of candidates and the effectiveness of recruiting methods


Onboarding is where you begin engaging new hires and give them all the resources they need to do their job. Your talent management system should include onboarding because it improves performance and retention — which is more important than ever. 69% of new hires who say they enjoyed their onboarding experience are more likely to stay at the company for at least three years.

Great onboarding software includes:

  • A new hire portal where employees can complete onboarding tasks and find resources
  • Electronic forms and payroll system integrations
  • New hire goal-setting and performance reviews

Employee Engagement

In today’s job market, employee engagement may be one of the most valuable parts of your talent management system. Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave your company for a new role. Your talent management system needs these employee engagement tools:

  • Surveys to gain insight into employee sentiments
  • Recognition tools to celebrate employees’ achievements and milestones
  • Real-time feedback tools

Performance Management

Performance management plays a key role in talent management. Employees want to receive feedback — 96% say continuous feedback is good. Your talent management system can help you conduct regular, effective performance conversations with these tools:

  • Performance review templates for more effective reviews
  • Ability to accommodate review types including 360-degree reviews, new hire reviews, and more
  • Automated reminders so reviews don’t slip through the cracks
  • Analytics for insight about performance by individual, manager, or department

What to Look for in a Talent Management System

A great talent management system offers a robust suite of tools to manage recruitment, onboarding, engagement, and workforce planning. Look for features that support the four pillars of a talent management system:

  • Role Management: A system that supports role management allows employees to take ownership of their roles. It increases transparency, simplifies communication, and makes it easy for managers to recognize employees’ accomplishments. Empower employees to do their best with a system that eliminates confusion about what they’re responsible for and enables timely, continuous feedback from leadership.
  • Core Competencies: Core competencies are the skills or knowledge that make an employee as successful as they can be in their roles. Your talent management system should make it clear to employees which core competencies they should possess and how they rate in each area. This makes it easy to see where employees excel and where they need additional training.
  • Goal Tracking and Alignment Tools: Aligning individual goals with department and business goals helps employees see where they fit into the bigger picture. Tracking goals helps everyone stay on target and increases transparency around goal progress. There’s even research showing that when people set harder goals, they work harder to meet them. You need a talent management system that enables easy goal-setting and alignment for every employee.
  • Employee Engagement Tools: Engagement has a huge impact at every level. Engaged employees are more productive and less likely to leave the organization. They feel a sense of purpose that creates a strong company culture. Your talent management system should support these initiatives with engagement tools like surveys and recognition programs.

Your talent management system should also integrate seamlessly with software tools you’re already using to handle other HR processes like payroll and learning and development programs. Scalability and usability are more traits you should consider. Here are a few questions to ask as you search for a talent management system:

  • Does this system offer all of the tools my business needs?
  • Are there integrations between the system and the tools my HR team is already using?
  • Will this system accommodate the business as it grows, or will it need an upgrade in a few years?
  • Is this system easy for my employees to use?
  • Does this system offer additional training after software updates?
  • Is there a dedicated support team or representative my team can contact with questions?

The talent management software market is expected to grow to $13.21 billion by 2028, which means more and more HR professionals are putting the software to use at their companies. Remain competitive in the job market and create an employee experience that motivates and retains your workforce with the power of a complete talent management system.

ClearCompany’s Talent Operating System has all the tools and features mentioned here and then some to improve talent management strategy. You can recruit and onboard new hires smoothly, keep them engaged by setting goals and offering regular feedback, improve employee performance, and provide growth opportunities. Ultimately, you’ll cultivate a workforce of motivated, long-term employees who are loyal to your organization.

This article was originally published on the ClearCompany blog by Melanie Baravik.



Meredith Wholley

As a Digital Marketing and Events Manager for ClearCompany, Meredith coordinates best-practice content and brand-awareness events with HR practitioners.