In the larger organization in particular, it is important to integrate all the facets of the recruitment process with the talent management systems. Having disparate and disjointed IT systems, including standalone recruitment assessment tools, will mean extra administration and a disjointed process where good candidates and later employees run the risk of being lost in the gaps between the systems.

One of the reasons performance management systems have been unpopular in some organizations has been their complexity. The first systems simply involved automating existing paper processes which led to a plethora of Word document templates, spreadsheets and other tools which were rarely integrated in any meaningful way so that it was difficult to make sense of, or use data effectively. And it threw up that many of the processes themselves needed to be changed.

Some companies feel that some Performance Management systems do little in the way of motivating and guiding employees to become better corporate citizens. In fact a poorly implemented Performance Management system is likely to be counterproductive. Some performance management systems can be confusing or difficult to navigate – often through a simple lack of training – but more commonly there is little understanding of what the overall corporate objectives are when it comes to engaging staff. Worse still, the outcomes of many performance reviews are not acted upon either by the hosting manager or more commonly because he or she is not too sure what they are able to offer their staff to help develop their careers. This can be demotivating for both the HR department and employee alike.

Many HR directors are now getting to grips with this issue. Mistakes of the past whereby HR technology has been implemented against a backdrop of a poorly defined scope, is starting to diminish. As the business objectives and goals are generally clearly defined, not surprisingly a considerable factor to the successful delivery, or otherwise, is the ‘people’ element, although it has taken some organizations some time to recognise the importance of this element. Delegating the responsibility for the motivation and development of staff to both the senior and middle management team inevitably dilutes the corporate message. Defining the scope, having a strong and more importantly, an engaging communication policy, is fundamental to getting your people on-side.

A good performance management system, used effectively, can help organizations in a number of ways. Firstly, it can help with recruitment by making it easier to identify the right applicants and organize their applications through an application tracking system (ATS).

Secondly, it can help managers to define and keep track of employee goals and rate progress.

Thirdly, it can help with learning and development and help the integration process by providing new employees with training input. Existing employees can also improve their skills by taking courses, often leading to further qualifications.

Finally, it can help ensure that employees are suitably rewarded through their salary and benefits for their performance, which may be based on a range of metrics.

As technology and the ability to integrate data has improved, organizations have focused on simplifying processes and making them easier to use as well as an increased emphasis on what really matters.