Debra is the VP Customer Success at Beamery. She is passionate about HR and the future of work, and wants to help talent teams around the globe successfully navigate the complex trends currently moving the talent market.
I’ve spent the last decade managing the customer experience of technology-enabled HR services companies and pure HR SaaS providers.
I’ve spent the last decade managing the customer experience of technology-enabled HR services companies and pure HR SaaS providers. Over the course of that period, I’ve been responsible for the implementations and relationship management of over 10,000 customers. I’ve learned a lot about the differences between successful and unsuccessful customers, and I can wholeheartedly say that long-term customer success–or failure–is solidified in the implementation process.
Beamery is a Talent Operating System. It’s a transformative software that sits on top of your talent acquisition technology stack, and manages every aspect of identifying, attracting, nurturing and deploying talent. By integrating and connecting with every other tool on the TA tech stack, it becomes the central source of truth for candidates and an activity hub for sourcers, recruiters, talent marketers and talent operations specialists. By design, Beamery is changing the way that companies engage with talent.
Transformation is not easy, and is not achieved by the selection of a technology partner alone. In fact, in my experience with Beamery, the easy part of implementation is the configuration and deployment of the platform itself. The most critical determinant of success rests with how the people and process workstreams are managed alongside the system implementation. This holds true for any transformative technology deployment.
De-risking Talent Operating System Implementation
Configuration and Rollout plan
A detailed project plan for your system configuration and rollout, with key milestones, owners and dependencies, is table stakes. You also need to ensure that the project team is appropriately staffed; it’s necessary to secure both product and domain experts to not only configure your solution effectively, but also consult with you along the way on best practices to set you up for long-term success.
Your implementation team shouldn’t be order takers, they should be consultants who challenge you to think in new ways in order to maximize the impact of your investment in a talent operating system.
You will also need to account for your in-house project team. As the rest of this post outlines, you will need to staff beyond pure system configuration and deployment focus, and account for change management, business process redesign, and candidate and recruiter experience design.
Speaking of long term success, you should begin with the end in mind. Why did you choose a Talent Operation System? What business problems are you solving for? What KPIs is your talent function held accountable for in the C-suite and at the board level? You need a clear understanding of those goals, and defined benchmarks for the business outcomes you aim to achieve with the selected partner. Your new Customer Success Manager is a great resource for this part of the process. They can help you map out the implementation journey, as well as define the right success metrics and competitive benchmarks to report back on progress to the rest of your organization.
Redesigning the business process
Business process redesign and optimization is an essential step in this process. You are deploying transformative software. You are seeking new ways of working to achieve remarkable and previously unattainable business results. This means changing how your team operates, and will require you to map out how they will leverage the new functions and features made available to them in the new Talent Operation System.
If you’re like most talent leaders, you’re working across 5 to 7 disparate systems that don’t talk to each other, and you have no data federation. You can’t clearly show where your candidate data lives and who owns what piece of it. You’re hard pressed to demonstrate ROI on your current toolset or strategies.
Deploying a Talent Operating System is the perfect opportunity to implement new integrations, consolidate databases, and leverage your tech stack to drive the business and talent outcomes you are ultimately held to account for. You shouldn’t just drop a new system into the mix without having a clear picture of how this new technology helps you get closer to those outcomes, and how it helps you optimize resource utilization throughout all recruiting workflows.
People: a driver for implementation success
And now for the most critical aspect to your implementation success: your people strategy. A talent operating system deployment requires equal parts change management and enablement. As humans, we resist change even when we are asking for it. You will need to mobilize dozens if not hundreds of talent acquisition team members around new processes, technology and ways of thinking.
Change management goes beyond communication and training; the best and most successful change management plans account for operationalizing the changes over the course of many weeks or months throughout a variety of mechanisms think team meetings, manager 1:1s, communities of practice, incentives and rewards, dashboards/leaderboards, and compliance enforcement when necessary.
You also need to ensure that you enable your team beyond the technology deployment. When you ask people to engage in a new way of working, you have to assess the current state of their skills, determine if you have the right people on the bus in the right seats, and empower them with training and thought leadership that enable them to be more effective and have s better experience at their jobs.
When implementing transformative software, in order to achieve the level of business change and results that you’re seeking, your plan has to include much more than system configuration and deployment. It must incorporate all the people and process transformation that are necessary to enable success.
I have always admired Philip Stanhope’s quote from over 200 years ago: “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”
This guidance is still relevant today. If you’re going to make a commitment, do so wholeheartedly and ensure you reap the benefits you were seeking when you set out on the journey.
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