Talent Management

Building the Business Case and ROI for Talent Management

15 March 2019

3 min
David Wilson, CEO of Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst, joins us to share his thoughts on the importance of talent management in organisations today, and key considerations when building your business case for investment.

Talent management used to be seen as just another HR process. But in today’s volatile changing world, against a backdrop of ongoing transformation, where organisations need to be agile and move more quickly than ever before – suddenly, having the best people, in the right roles, at the right time, is becoming business critical.

The fact is that talent management is potentially positioned as thevehicle to deliver an organisation’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) rather than just managing HR processes. Now is the time to seize this opportunity, but measuring its impact, articulating your value add and showing its Return On Investment (ROI) isn’t always straightforward.

The foundation of proving the value and ROI of your talent management systems and strategy is a business case founded on measurable business results. In our new Viewpoint paper published in partnership with Cegid, we examine how to tackle building a business case that can do just that.

In order to start building a clear business case like this, you must be able to articulate the talent goals and outcomes you are hoping to achieve – and ideally link them back to overall business drivers, such as:

  • Business performance and effectiveness including revenue growth, profit, customer satisfaction, average order value, customer retention etc
  • People satisfaction and leadership including employee satisfaction, creating a great place to work, HR excellence, people agility, key staff retention, flight risk, attracting key talent, etc
  • Compliance and risk including compliance to regulations, proof of competency, fitness to practice, regulatory evidence/records etc
  • Speed to performance the anticipated improvement in how fast an employee learns new skills and is able to perform in the workplace, or to adapt to change in the workplace

Ultimately the biggest levers that drive higher investment are those that come from being closely aligned to your business’ strategic drivers, whether that is about powering people productivity, an unfair market advantage or new strategic business opportunities. The bigger the potential value, the greater the opportunity to seek higher levels of investment.

But you will not be able to figure out your ROI without understanding your TCO (apologies for all the acronyms!) TCO stands for Total Cost of Ownership which means you need to calculate the cost of your talent management system above and beyond the standard license fees. Our Fosway research shows most organisations appear to have a false view of their TCO – you need to figure out your additional costs (including staff) for running, using, supporting and innovating the solution itself.

Once you have this number and your key drivers in place, it’s time to engage with your key stakeholders to secure the investment you need for a solution that will support you in attracting, developing and retaining the very best talent for your organisation – both now and in the future. Your talent and people development offering is potentially a differentiating factor in recruiting new talent, and keeping and developing what you’ve already got. Yes, this is a challenge to create an approach that is fit for the modern workforce and tackles the strategic goals of your organisation. But the systems exist to support this and talent management’s timely rise in importance is a huge opportunity for HR – if you’re ready to step up and take it.

You can follow David via @dwil23 and fosway on @fosway for more on talent management, HR and learning.