Most Used Talent Management Modules by Business Size

December 17th, 2019

As modern workforces become increasingly specialized and advanced, companies are recognizing the value behind investing in their personnel and talent. However, there are myriad processes that go into talent management, which can make the HR area vague and difficult to define.

While many talent management software vendors make their products as inclusive as possible, not every type and size of business needs every talent management function. We surveyed talent management reviewers on TrustRadius to find out which talent management features are used the most by various sized businesses. For instance, employee self-service, recruiting, and onboarding are frequently popular functions across business sizes, but other modules’ usage can vary dramatically. These granular results can help provide a starting point for which capabilities are most essential to your business!

Startups and Small Businesses (1-50 Employees)

Among respondents from business with 50 employees or less, self-service capabilities, performance management, and compensation management are the most commonly used features. Self-service is the most frequently used capability, with 64% of small businesses leaning on employees’ ability to manage more of their own talent management, and broader HR, capabilities.

Just shy of half of small business respondents (45%) also used performance management and compensation management features. Given the leaner budgets that smaller organizations run on compared to large companies, performance management likely emerges in automated review processes to ensure that employees are delivering necessary value to the business. Self-service capabilities also play a large role in enabling performance management for smaller businesses that otherwise would not always have the HR bandwidth to handle the workload. Similarly, compensation management capabilities align closely with personnel budgeting and accounting features that small businesses pay very close attention to in order to remain profitable.

Established Businesses (51-200 Employees)

These businesses are still on the smaller side in terms of HR infrastructure, but have started to scale these processes as the business grows. These changes explain why self-service is still the most used functionality (73%) and recruiting and onboarding becomes the second most-used talent management module (55%).

The scope of HR teams can grow reactively to the size of the business, rather than preemptively. In this case, HR personnel at small-but-growing businesses often feel like they’re playing catch up with the business’s needs. Talent management products that offer self-service capabilities for processes like performance reviews and goal setting, as well as core HR functions, allow smaller HR teams to better scale with the rest of the company.

Recruiting and onboarding is the first process to feel the growth of a business’s labor force. That means its one of the first modules within talent management products to achieve widespread functionality. Recruiting modules enable the standardized and scalable hiring processes that constitute the first step of workforce growth.

Midsize Businesses (201-500 Employees)

For midsize businesses, recruiting and onboarding takes the crown as the most used module (70%), with HR reporting close on its heels (60%). Like smaller established businesses, recruiting and onboarding has become a fact of life, and integrating the process with the rest of the talent management lifecycle yields substantial returns in HR labor and time.

Additionally, this many employees in the business, likely in a more wide variety of positions and locations than before, necessitates more frequent and routine reporting. Utilizing built-in reporting functionalities enables more automated personnel data collection and formatting for scalable reporting.

Large Businesses (501-1000 Employees)

For the large-but-not-quite-enterprise businesses, self-service becomes more popular again (63%), and Recruiting and Onboarding remains a core function of talent management for over half of businesses (53%). However, the ways these functionalities are being used are likely more varied and customized to each business than in small contexts.

For this size of business, the value of self-service depends on your management style. Self-service capabilities can automate and delegate mundane processes like performance reviews and continual learning for some businesses. However, more hierarchically focused organizations may prefer manager or supervisor-led talent management!

Similarly, everyone at this business stage needs recruiting software and onboarding capabilities to handle the volume and complexity of the processes and to enable data flow from the hiring processing into other HR systems. The explanation behind a more even 50/50 split is a division between having a recruiting module within a talent management suite versus using a standalone recruiting/applicant tracking system.

Enterprises (1000-10000 Employees)

For enterprises, scaling and efficiency is the name of the game. Self-service retains its value (60% of enterprise respondents’ companies rely on self-servicing) likely because its use has come full circle. At this scale of workforce, it’s largely impractical for a centralized HR team to manage the whole organization. This makes it more efficient for management to be broken down by department, geography, etc., and for employee-specific processes to be managed by employees as much as possible to mitigate the additional burden on middle management.

53% of enterprise respondents also used performance management, HR reporting/analytics, or both. Companies at this scale can use many of the functions that are frequently, if vaguely, grouped under performance management, including succession planning and career development. Reporting and workforce analytics is also crucial to managing that many personnel and the financial investment in said personnel. At this scale, the integrated HR reporting capabilities that have become standard in talent management products are likely smoother to use than attaching 3rd party reporting tools.

Large Enterprises (10000+ Employees)

In full transparency, we had fewer respondents from huge enterprises than from other sizes of business. That said, half of the respondents used pointed to using performance management, recruiting, career development, reporting and analytics, learning management, and self-service capabilities. In other words, they used almost the entire range of talent management functions, with the exception of employee engagement.

The other half of respondents likely use Human Capital Management suites that have talent management modules, but don’t directly utilize the talent management functionality. However, when large enterprises use, and pay for, enterprise-scale talent management products, they’re going to get as much functionality out of the purchase as they can. Given the wider range of personnel these businesses employ, there’s almost always a segment of employees that can benefit from a talent management function.  

Which modules are right for you?

There are definitely some core talent management functions that are useful across business sizes, but no feature is universally used across companies. These trends can provide guidelines for what could be useful for you, but they’re not hard and fast rules. Check out some products on TrustRadius to see what features and scale of software is best for you. If you aren’t sure what counts as “talent management,” check out our 101 post here! Do you have your own opinions on what modules are most helpful from your own experience? Leave a review here!