3 Ways to Simplify Your Talent Management Software Search

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Your first dilemma is simple: you need new talent management software.

You’ve already done your homework, sought out what software would be a good fit, and you’ve got it down to a solid short list. Go you!

Your second dilemma is is a lot harder: you have more than one great software choice and now you don’t know which one to pick.

There’s a lot riding on this choice—picking the wrong talent management software can have huge ramifications for you and your business. You’ll not only lose the money you spent acquiring the first software, you’ll lose the time it took to set it up and train your staff to use it.

You may also have to pay a fee for terminating a software contract early. Your staff will be frustrated, your boss will be frustrated, and you’ll have to go through the process all over again.

talent management software search

It’s a nightmare that nobody wants to deal with, and the only way to avoid it is by picking the right software the first time.

If you need help with your talent management software search, you’ve come to the right place.

Below are three steps you can take to help you make the best software choice for your team, avoiding the high costs and wasted time of a bad decision. We’ve even included a downloadable, customizable template to help you in the decision-making process.

1: Figure out what you really want

Start by putting aside your search for a minute. Forget about your short list, minimize every website you have pulled up, and save and close every spreadsheet.

Start from scratch and open a fresh document. This will help you focus without the distraction of sales pitches and flashy websites.

Now make a list. What features do you really want? Do you need software that manages hiring first and foremost? Do you want something that integrates with your payroll software?

Phrase your biggest needs in a simple sentence, like so:

I need software that organizes recruiting in a easy system and helps with the onboarding process. I need software that will help me manage performance evaluations for a workforce that just doubled. I want this software to be focused on employee self-service.

If you’re stuck on this step, try repeating your problem to yourself (the issue that got you looking for a solution in the first place) and write down the ideal fix.

Finding a way to phrase what you want the most can help clarify your purpose. Now you can go back to the software choices and see which one fits your needs best.

To-do list:

  • Save and close all the websites and documents mentioning your software short list.
  • In a new document, list the features you most want in the software, limiting yourself to three or four.
  • Turn that list into a simple sentence you might say to someone asking what you want.
  • Keep that sentence in mind as you examine your choices. Which program best fits that description?

2: Take stock of the little details

If you stare at the same thing long enough, your eyes start to cross. Something similar happens when you look at two or three very similar software options.

Say step one didn’t work. The software you have on your shortlist is just too similar to make a selection based on primary function. Now’s the time to move beyond the big picture and get specific. Very, very specific.

Start really digging in and examine the small details. Are you drawn to one design over another? Does one system have a more intuitive user interface? If your company grows suddenly, can the software support a higher volume of users? Is there a feature you really like that one talent management software has that another does not?

None of these factors are too small or too silly. If two software options are similarly priced and they both get the main task done successfully, it’s OK to get into the minutia to help you make a decisions.

To-do list:

Examine the software choices one at a time. Ask yourself:

  • Do I like this design?
  • How intuitive in the interface?
  • Is the price likely to fluctuate (a flat fee vs. per employee, for instance)?
  • Do you prefer one reporting method over another?
  • Are you comfortable with the level of customer support?

3: Weigh the pros and cons

What if nothing is working? The small details that differentiate your software options are too small, and their primary functions are too similar. You’re really struggling to make a decision and your short list is still too long.

Don’t worry, I’ve got a solution for even the pickiest of decision makers.

I’m a big fan of lists. I have software that manages a daily to-do list, a physical to-do list on a Post-it note, a day planner, and a very detailed digital calendar. I make lists for every meeting and every big project:

A work station with a ridiculous amount of to-do lists
Yes, I know, it’s ridiculous

So I might be biased when I say that making a list is the best way to come to a decision when you’re stuck between a couple of talent management software picks. But not just any list. You need a specific way to effectively compare the pros and cons of your choices.

That’s why we’ve made this excellent, downloadable template.

software decision making template
Click on the template to download the customizable spreadsheet

Replace the choice sections with your shortlist of software options and use the tabs to list out the pros and cons of each side, along with a numeral ranking for the importance of each element. If you click on the image above and download the actual template, the spreadsheet will tally the totals for you automatically.

Nifty, right?

Did you make the right choice?

Do you at least feel better equipped to do so? Tell me about your software buying process in the comments below, or tweet me @CapterraHalden.

Want to learn more about the software selection process? Read on:

Looking for Talent Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Talent Management software solutions.

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About the Author


Halden Ingwersen

Halden Ingwersen is a former Capterra analyst.


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