Talent Management Software – Top 7 Picks For 2023

Everything you need to know about talent management software so you can better manage and engage employees, and boost your bottom line

Phil Strazzulla
HR Tech Expert, Harvard MBA, Software Enthusiast

Contributing Experts

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The Top Talent Management Platforms

Hand picked by our HR Technology experts after product testing, user research, and much debate - enjoy!

ChartHop is a visual analytics tool that helps you manage your talent by allowing you to understand your people data. With it, you can design an org chart, measure effectiveness of DEI programs, and save hours worth of time and money.
ADP fosters talent management in various arenas like performance management, leadership development, compensation, team performance. A revered feature is that it helps you identify patterns as to why people leave your company.
Workday has a full suite of talent management apps that focus on developing an employee's skills. Some of its key capabilities are talent acquisition, learning, performance management, and development.
BambooHR's wide offering includes an add-on designed for employee engagement and accurate reflections of employee performance. Use it to conduct actionable reviews, regular assessments, and tracking employee goals among other things.
Ultimate Software enables you to engage and develop your workforce. They do this with features that let you assess performance, gather feedback, ensure employee's growth, and seeing your company's data.
Bob has a delightful user experience and aims to increase employee engagement. Analytics, benefits, goal setting – these are just few of the features that come with Bob's talent management software.
ClearCompany has a tailor-made talent management system that you can use to align with your mission and goals. With features such as new hire reviews, shoutouts, and real-time feedback, ClearCompany is a complete talent management solution.

Introduction to Talent Management Systems

Talent management is a priority for companies large and small. After all, it encompasses so many key areas — from recruiting and onboarding to performance management to compensation to learning and development to offboarding and succession planning. It’s no surprise then that talent management software exists to help HR professionals better manage these processes. When used effectively, they can help you find and hire the right talent, make strategic people decisions as you grow, boost employee morale, and create a more productive company overall.

Depending on the size and needs of your company, you might opt for a talent management solution that helps you manage the entire employee lifecycle (from hire to retire) — or you can scale back and find a few solutions that specialize in one piece of the overall talent, workforce and human capital management pie.

In this guide, we’re going to help you figure out which type of solution is right for you, why you might need it, and how it can make your job easier.

Our criteria: How we chose the best vendors

We take research seriously. To make sure we’re offering our readers the very best solutions in a given software category, we are methodical, rigorous, and expansive in our research. We consult with HR professionals, vendors, and industry experts. We cut through the noise to bring you a carefully curated list of vendors, along with other essential information, to help you find the right software platform for your business. 

Here’s how we chose who makes the cut: 

Product: We believe in gaining a comprehensive understanding of a product before we recommend it, so we start by getting to know the software. Whenever possible, we meet with a senior executive (CEO or Head of Product) for a demo and Q&A. We also test the product ourselves to make sure it has a solid UI, intuitive workflows, and the features to make it a best-in-class offering. 

User feedback: We go straight to the source and compile feedback on user experience. Real-world input supports our commitment to diligence in our software evaluation methods and the products we recommend. Keeping up with the everyday experience of HR pros also puts new vendors on our radar, and it keeps us close to our community so we can better connect the right products to the right people.

Financial metrics: We are certified finance nerds, so we use all the data we can get our hands on to make selections for our guides. We comb through data for concrete statistics like retention rates, growth, profitability, and scalability. We evaluate the bottom line of each product because we know making a software purchase can put your reputation on the line. 

Best for a use case: Software is never a one-size-fits-all product. Sometimes the best solution is free or cheap. Other times it’s the one that is best for global companies or the one that’s sized right for early-stage startups. Keeping this in mind, we include solutions across the spectrum so our readers can find the best fit for their unique needs.

Here's more detail if you want to read more about how we research vendors. Our dedicated staff writers rely on hard data, impartial experts, and user feedback to ensure our reviews are helpful, truthful, and hopefully a pleasure to read!

Top Talent Management Systems — 2022

We surveyed the landscape for the best talent management software, here are some vendors we think you should look into.


ChartHop

Review:

Originally, ChartHop started out as an org chart software vendor. They now see their offering as a new category called organizational management, which can deliver on many of the tasks you'd expect from talent management software. For example, they've added people analytics, headcount planning, and compensation management tools to their platform. You can use this tool to understand the state of diversity hiring, for example, or how your organization is changing in real-time.

ChartHop

Stats:

  • Saved customers a total of $2.5M in lost productivity
  • Raised $14M in Series A funding
  • Peloton, OpenAI, better.com
  • Charthop saved InVision, a visual collaboration and productivity platform $2.5 million in lost productivity by empowering their team to make better strategic people decisions.

ChartHop

Pricing:

ChartHop’s organizational management platform is a part of their suite of employee management products.

The pricing tiers that offer compensation planning are Grow, Scale, and Enterprise. They are $7 per employee per month, $10 per employee per month, and custom priced respectively.

Charthop has 4 different pricing plans. When billed annually, here’s what they look like:

  • Charthop Build: At $3.50 per employee per month, this plan has all the fundamental features — a live org chart, employee profiles, DE&I reports, and integrations with HRIS, Slack, and Carta. 
  • Charthop Grow: Priced at $7 per employee per month, the Grow plan offers additional features such as employee engagement surveys, reporting, and custom data. If you don’t currently use a dedicated employee experience software, you can try check out this plan.
  • Charthop Scale: This plan is best suited for businesses that want to scale at speed. Equipped with features like a performance management system, ATS integration, and headcount planning, this plan is priced at $10 per employee per month. 
  • Charthop Enterprise: Large enterprises whose main priority is agility and efficiency can opt for this plan. This pricing is not disclosed upfront. For more information, you can contact Charthop's sales team. 

For an additional $2 per employee per month, billed annually, you also get access to their compensation planning tool. If you want to run your comp cycle on the same platform as your HRIS and performance management software, then this feature is beneficial.

Best For

Bob

Review:

Bob is a relatively new entrant to the market. They have a slick user interface for HR teams and employees alike. They take a data driven approach to improving culture and performance, along with making sure they do everything a typical talent management system would do, from a paperwork and compliance perspective. Bob is a great solution for mid-market companies looking for a new talent management partner.

Bob

Stats:

  • Over 13 modules 
  • Four packages to cover most needs 
  • Founded in 2016

Bob

Pricing:

Bob offers custom pricing, for which you must get in contact with a sales rep.

Best For:

Companies of any size looking for highly customizable modules.

ClearCompany

Review:

ClearCompany's software allows HR teams to manage the full employee lifecycle from hire to offboarding. Their talent management system encompasses an ATS, onboarding, HRIS, performance management, and workforce planning. They also have a yearly conference dedicated to talent management, called Talent Success.

ClearCompany

Stats:

  • Over 2,000 clients
  • Founded in 2004
  • 640,000 total users

ClearCompany

Pricing:

Best For:

ClearCompany is best for large companies looking for a talent management suite.

WorkDay

Review:

While hated by many users, and the HR teams that have to implement this solution, Workday is still one of the best talent management systems particularly for large enterprise companies that need a solution that can scale, checks the necessary IT/Infosec boxes, and can be implemented across large global companies. In fact, we see more and more top People teams adopting Workday for their HCM suite as time goes on.

WorkDay

Stats:

  • Used by over 45% of the Fortune 500
  • Over 7,000 customers

WorkDay

Pricing:

Best For:

Large and enterprise companies.

UKG

Review:

UltiPro is one of the largest HR software providers out there and their suite is definitely one to take a look at when it comes to Talent Management. Specifically, their software is used by thousands of companies for succession planning, performance management, recruiting, and the standard blocking and tackling you'd expect from a robust HRIS. Ultimate Software recently merged with Kronos to create an all-encompassing HR software group.

UKG

Stats:

  • Average ROI of $3.88 for each dollar invested in Ultimate Software products
  • 96% customer retention rate

UKG

Pricing:

Best For:

Large or enterprise companies.

BambooHR

Review:

BambooHR has over 20,000 customers using their HR and recruiting software. They have standard HR/People software (onboarding, PTO, performance management), along with a robust recruiting software suite. It's no wonder so many small and mid-sized companies turn to them for their talent management needs.

Available as add-ons are their payroll, time tracking, and performance management modules. The latter includes features like goal-setting, peer feedback, self and manager assessment, reports, and lots more.

BambooHR

Stats:

  • Over 20,000 active client organizations
  • Millions of employees active on their system
  • 45,000+ new hires onboarded per month, on average

BambooHR

Pricing:

Pricing is not disclosed upfront, but they do offer a free trial of their all-in-one software and then go out of their way to find a version that will suit you. Before they come up with a personalized quote that will align with your budget, however, they are also likely to extend your free trial upon request or even give you a free demo of the advanced features.

Best For:

BambooHR is a good fit for companies looking for a very customizable HR product, with pricing that reflects their needs. It’s also popular among teams that are partially or even fully remote.

ADP

Review:

ADP needs no introduction as one of the largest vendors in the HR space. They of course manage payroll for millions of employees each month. They also have a software suite for HR teams who need a simple talent management suite.

ADP

Stats:

ADP

Pricing:

ADP has separate packages based on on whether or not you have over or under 50 employees. They do not offer pricing information on their website, but they do show that talent management tools come with the Performance Plus plan.

Best For:

Any company will find a use case in ADP.

Use-Cases: Why Use Talent Management Software

Talent management systems are popular for companies who want to streamline their HR processes and more efficiently manage their people development. Depending on the tool you use, you’ll be able to manage the entire employee lifecycle from one system or opt for a single step within it. For example:

  • Recruiting & Talent Acquisition: Create a seamless hiring process by using a built-in ATS or integrating with an applicant tracking system you already use. With recruiting features, you can streamline the application and interview processes, allow employees to leave candidate feedback in a centralized place, and quickly send offer letters that candidates can sign digitally. All in all, candidates will have a positive experience and you’ll have less administrative work to handle in the process.
  • Onboarding: Streamline your onboarding process by digitizing paperwork, collecting necessary signatures and forms before a new hire starts, and focusing their first day on what really matters: team introductions, trainings, and actually getting to work.
  • Offboarding & Succession Planning: When someone leaves your company, you can manage their exit with ease. This means automating exit interviews, providing clear FAQs about things like last paychecks, and developing succession plans for their replacement — all while remaining compliant throughout the entire offboarding process.
  • Learning Management & Career Development: Providing opportunities for your employees to hone their skills and advance in their careers is a great way to boost employee engagement and morale. Some TMS providers offer eLearning options with course modules, training templates, education, and other employee development opportunities.
  • Compensation Management: Many of your workforce management processes can be wrapped into a talent management system. This includes time tracking, PTO requests, payroll, etc. 
  • Performance Management: Rather than do employee evaluations once or twice a year, make performance and feedback a regular part of the job. This means tracking performance, setting goals and creating benchmarks, getting feedback from employees on the company culture, etc.

Considerations & Common Mistakes for Talent Management Systems

We always like to give you a clear sense of what to expect from any HR solution we highlight — and that includes the negatives. After all, no solution is perfect. With talent management systems, there are two key considerations to keep top of mind as you search for a provider. That way, you can prepare appropriately and maximize chances of success with implementation, rollout, etc.  

  • Know what you need now: As you’ll see during your own research and demos, talent management SAAS providers offer a variety of features. In most cases, no one vendor will be “best in class” for each use-case and/or talent management module. So, to ensure success and a positive ROI, you really need to identify which area of talent management is a priority for your company. That way, you can find a provider that is as close to “best in class” for your needs. Not to mention, you’ll only pay for what you’ll actually use and benefit from.
  • Anticipate growing needs: Not to make things more complicated, but you should also do some forecasting of your needs in case you’ll need a feature in the future. Then, look for solutions that offer what you need now and what you think you’ll need down the line. See if they’ll create a customized pricing package, too, so that you don’t pay for the future feature until you actually start using it.

Benefits & ROI: How Talent Management Can Help Your HCM -- and Your Bottom Line

As with a lot of HR software solutions, ROI isn’t something you see immediately. Fortunately, we have a variety of HR Tech ROI Calculators you can use to actually see how an investment like this will impact your company’s bottom line. 

In addition to that are the intangible benefits.

  • Employee Lifecycle Tracking: You’ll have the ability to track employees throughout their entire lifecycle with your organization, from hire to alumni. Doing this will allow you to create a holistic picture of your people, see who your best performers are, where you need to invest in employee growth, and more. All in all, it will allow you to make informed people decisions that will positively impact your company's bottom line.
  • Streamlined Management: When you can manage the bulk of your core HR functions with one vendor and one HR system, your job is just easier. You could have one performance management software solution, a learning management system, a human capital management program, and other separate software systems for your HR management. Or, you could roll it all into a single talent management suite that offers everything. That means no more switching between programs or tabs, or risking data entry errors from one platform to the next. Not to mention, your employees will only have to learn how to use ONE platform versus many.
  • Automation: When you can automate the necessary busy work -- like onboarding paperwork or PTO requests, for example -- you free up time for yourself and your company, allowing everyone to be more productive.

Pricing: What Talent Management Solutions Cost

Most talent management providers create pricing packages unique to each company. They are typically done on a per employee per month basis and also depend on the actual modules and features you get. Make sure you talk about pricing on your demos and ask each vendor you meet with to put together a pricing package for you. Typical ranges are $10-20/employee/month.

Features: What You Can Expect from Talent Management Software

As we mentioned earlier, talent management software offers a variety of features depending on what provider you choose and the solutions you need. Here are 10 common features to expect:

  • Employee Goals: In today’s world, employees don’t want to wait until their midyear reviews to hear how they are doing. Instead, they want real-time feedback. With online goal-setting modules, employees and managers can set goals, benchmark them against overall company goals, and keep regular tabs on how performance is measuring up to them. The goal (no pun intended) of this type of feature is to keep an open line of communication between team members, so expectations are aligned.
  • Employee Performance Reviews: Managers can create comprehensive performance reviews for their team members, which include their own feedback as well as feedback from designated peers within your company. With 360 reviews, everything will be in one place so employees can get a clear picture of their performance and feedback, strengths, areas of improvement, etc.
  • Applicant Tracking: Improve your recruiting efforts by streamlining the entire recruiting workflow, from applications, to candidate information, to interview scheduling, to feedback, and everything in between. Not only will you make the job of your recruiter easier, you’ll improve the experience for your candidate. After all, making a good first impression starts as soon as they see and engage with your job posting.
  • Learning Management: Give employees an opportunity to hone a particular skill or advance in their careers. You can offer tailored learning, personalized content, eCourses, and much more. Depending on the platform as well as your company’s needs and bandwidth, you can create your own content from scratch or with the help of preloaded templates — or you can use platform-created guides as a start. As you'll see, each learning management system and module is different and comes with a variety of customization options.
  • Employee Recognition: Allow managers to give shout-outs to their employees when they excel in a certain area, finish a major project, etc. 
  • Payroll: You can take the stress away from payroll with streamlined processes that ensure you pay employees on time, cover federal and state tax filings, and more. Whether you pay via direct deposit or issue actual checks, you’ll be able to take the busy-work away from the payroll process.
  • Employee Records: Keep track of all your employees’ information in one place. Data can be as standard as personal and payment information or more customized to include information like office equipment allocations, t-shirt sizes for corporate swag, favorite hobbies, etc. You can finally forego all those individual spreadsheets and documents and unify employee information in a simple dashboard.
  • PTO: With built-in PTO functionality, employees can request time off without the back-and-forth associated with email requests. Teams can see who will be in the office when, whether there will be coverage on a requested day off, and more. Plus, employees and managers won’t have to keep track of how many PTO days they have left. It’s all built into an online system that can be access from a computer or mobile device.
  • Job Board Distribution: Share new job postings across multiple job boards without uploading them to each individual job board. 
  • Time Tracking: Allow employees to clock in and out of work from their computers or mobile devices. Certain providers let employees get specific on the number of hours spent on a particular project or with a particular client, making time tracking and timesheet management a breeze.
  • Digitized Paperwork: Whether you’re welcoming a new hire, managing open enrollment, or handling offboarding for a departing employee, your job requires a lot of paperwork. With a talent management platform, this paperwork is all online, saving you time, filing cabinet space, and the environment.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Calculate your employee Net Promoter Score and issue other surveys to gauge employee satisfaction and identify any areas of improvement. 
  • Reporting & Analytics: Leverage built-in reporting features to analyze your people data in a matter of minutes. Depending on the provider, you can customize reports based on anything HR-related, from workforce planning to approval tracking. Then, you'll be able to make more proactive people and business decisions.
  • Mobile Access: Some software vendors offer mobile apps in addition to online portals. On the HR side of things, this means you could manage applications in real-time (and thus hire faster). On the employee side of things, they can easily check their PTO balances, request time off, look up payroll-related information, and more while they're on the go.

Demo Questions: What to Ask About Top Talent Management Tools

Demos are a must for talent management software. They’ll give you an opportunity to see a platform in action, get a feel for their company and customer support, ask questions, and more. To help you get the most out of your demos, here are some key questions to ask:

  • How will I transition my existing solutions to this suite?
  • What is the timeline and how do you help with implementation?
  • Do you have consultants you’d recommend?
  • How do third party solutions connect to your system?
  • Can I buy this module by module?
  • How will this solution fit into the rest of my tech stack and therefore what integrations do I need?
  • How will others in the organization use this solution?
  • What are the key features I want to ask about?
  • What are the things that would make me nervous about buying this sort of solution

Implementation: Getting Your talent management Software Off the Ground

Some software solutions are more complicated than others to get up and running — and that includes talent management software. To help ensure a smooth implementation, you’re going to want to build an internal implementation team, elect a project manager, and consider hiring a consultant. 

After all, there’s a lot of data you’ll need to transfer over as well as mission-critical systems to test before officially switching over (like payroll, confidential employee records, etc.). On top of that, you’ll have to train your HR team and employees as well.

Some providers have consultants you can hire and who are obviously very well versed in managing this type of implementation, so be sure to ask them about this during your demos.

Talent Management Software FAQs

What is a talent management system?

A talent management system is a software or solution designed to manage the entire employee lifecycle from hire to retire.

What is the purpose of talent management?

The purpose of talent management is to recruit, retain and grow the best talent to boost company performance. 

Why is talent management software important to an organization?

Talent management software allows a company to track its employees’ progress as they grow from new hire to potential leadership successor. In addition, by putting effort into talent management, companies can see a jump in employee satisfaction and retention. 

What are the key components of talent management?

Key components of talent management include:

  • Recruiting
  • Onboarding
  • Performance management
  • Compensation
  • Learning and development
  • Succession planning
  • Offboarding

Next Steps for Talent Management

To help you determine the right solution for your talent management needs, you need to think about the big picture. More specifically, will you benefit from one solution that manages everything, or would you rather invest in a few providers that are best-in-class for specific categories. For example, one recruiting and onboarding tool, one HRIS, one performance management system, one HCM solution, etc. 

You’ll be able to get clarity on this during your demos, but you should also do some internal analyses of your human resource management efforts. That way, you can see: 

  • What’s been working (and therefore where you might not need help)
  • What’s becoming more of an administrative burden
  • What your HR department will need in the near future as your company grows

All in all, you want a talent management system that’s going to help you better manage and engage your people so you can find the right talent — and keep them around so your company can grow.

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