How HR Technology Can Support Comprehensive Talent Development

February 24, 2023

Traditionally speaking, Learning / Training and Performance Management were seen as distinct initiatives within a company. Learning / Training initiatives focused on the skills needed to complete job responsibilities, compliance requirements, and voluntary offerings for employees to expand their knowledge. Performance initiatives focused on setting goals and formal assessments of job duty execution. A conceptual line was drawn between them, with separate HR teams – and sometimes, separate technology –supporting each.

There is a growing understanding that these initiatives are actually far more interconnected and impact retention, promotion, and succession.

Graphic demonstrating the relationship between training, retention, promotion/succession, and onboarding.

From the moment someone is hired, their assimilation and integration into their new company begins with trainings focused on learning about their new employer and the role they’re filling. Some companies find success with company-wide onboarding experiences that offer shared learning experiences and content regardless of someone’s role or level. These onboarding experiences support the assimilation of new hires into the company by forging relationships with other new hires within a cohort.

When focusing individually on a new hire or promoted employee, the creation of goals in the HR system with 30-, 60-, 90-day and beyond milestones helps level-set expectations for the first year in a new role. Many companies have a culture of, or requirement for managers to check-in formally with their new hires at their 30-, 60-, and 90-day marks. Part of why this approach is successful is that it allows for frequent touchpoints focused on the new hire. Utilizing the HR system for these formal check-ins allows for a written record of the employee’s onboarding progress.

Companies are recognizing that these frequent touchpoints can occur outside of formal onboarding processes and, when utilized, can increase employee performance improvement speeds. At the same time, as Millennials dominate the workforce and are looking for development and growth and Gen Z’ers are entering the workforce, the age of “no news is good news” until an annual formal performance review is becoming a thing of the past. Formal conversations only once a year can lead to performance lags. Through more frequent or even on-the-go performance checkpoints, employees can receive real-time feedback.

Increased feedback allows for more frequent intervention opportunities, including the recommendation of developmental activities to address performance gaps as soon as possible. By connecting training opportunities to skills and competencies in the HR system, when an employee is informed of a lag in skill or competency through a performance conversation captured in the HR system, the manager can assign the corresponding trainings. Some HR systems can even make recommendations for trainings automatically if the trainings are identified as connected to skills and competencies.

When it comes to trainings, it’s important to remember that we are in the age of TikTok and Reels – people are used to getting information in small snippets versus lengthy articles and lectures. Short videos are key to successful training initiatives. Consider taking an existing 2-hour course and breaking it down to four or more modules, each with their own video, so the information can be digested in parts.

Additionally, we are in the age of utilizing search engines to own our learning journeys. People are used to being offered options for where and how to learn. They can choose from a list of sources and methods (e.g., articles, videos, pictures, etc.). The challenge in translating this into the workplace is that the traditional Learning or Talent Management Suites do not allow the learner to own the experience and have the flexibility to learn when and how they want.

It’s important to note that it’s not as though vendors are not interested in providing the flexibility and functionality outlined in this blog post. However, vendors build what customers want to buy and, while this trend of connecting learning and performance initiatives to manage talent is growing, this is not yet the norm. As connecting these initiatives continues to gain traction, the increased demand for HR technology to support these initiatives will result in more vendors being able to deliver.

If you’d like to dive into this topic further, please request a consultation from our team.

About the author: Renee Schapiro

Renee Schapiro headshot

Renee Schapiro is a Senior Strategic Services Consultant at HRchitect. She is responsible for guiding clients through discovering their HR technology needs and facilitating their evaluation of human capital management systems. She has more than five years of experience in HR administration. Renee has a master’s degree in Music, Mind and Brain from Goldsmiths, University of London and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Skidmore College. She can be reached at