This image shows all of the systems that make up a talent management suite: an ATS, an Onboarding System, an HRIS, a Payroll System, and a Learning and Development System.
A talent management system (TMS) is a collection of integrated software applications that manage how new employees are hired, onboarded, and developed throughout their career. Typically, companies use their TMS to manage, review, and train employees.

Talent Management Systems can be a very confusing software package. Many people view Talent Management as the system that takes over once an employee has been hired. However, many companies sell Talent management as an integrated suite, composed of software that manages everything from hiring and onboarding, all the way through to offboarding. Typically, a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) serves as the cornerstone that many other systems flow into. This may include an Applicant Tracking System for recruiting, a system for onboarding the new hires and entering their data into the HRIS, a payroll system for salary-related activities, and a Learning Management System for ongoing learning and development. Depending on company size, each of these systems and functions may be managed by one person, a small team, or an entire Human Resources (HR) department.

Uses of TMS Software

The world of talent management, also known as Human Resources or Human Capital Management, is highly complicated and requires extensive data to be acquired, stored, and managed over the course of an employee’s career. This data is also highly sensitive and encompasses personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as Social Security Number and Driver’s License information, which needs to be encrypted and safeguarded. Data is accumulated at each point along the employee lifecycle, whether that be pre-hire screening responses, post-offer technology needs, or mid-career assessments for promotion.

The Software Required at Each Phase of Talent Management

Applicant Tracking System

The software at the front end of talent management is generally referred to as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or Talent Recruitment CRM. A Talent Management System begins accumulating data the moment a potential candidate submits their resume to be reviewed for a position. You can imagine the extensive coordination and documentation involved in just this first phase of the employee lifecycle and an Applicant Tracking System, part of a larger Talent Management System, handles that.

An ATS manages everything related to the recruiting and hiring of new employees:

  • -Position control
  • -Job posting
  • -Applicant engagement
  • -Interview scheduling
  • -Candidate feedback
  • -Offer management
  • -Job acceptance

Onboarding Software

At the point of a new hire accepting an offer, they must now be onboarded into your other systems using, aptly named, Onboarding Software. Onboarding software is always used to collect information for the purposes of setting up payroll. This means tax documents like an I-9, copies of proof of identification, and other things that a company needs before they can give an employee a paycheck. Beyond this, onboarding software can also be used to collect information like computer preferences or t-shirt size.

There are 3 phases of onboarding:

  • -Forms and Compliance (digitizing new hire paperwork including tax docs)
  • -Provisioning (punch lists and task management to order access, hardware seating, etc.)
  • -Orientation and learning (welcome, policy explanation, etc.)

Think of onboarding as the bridge from your ATS to Payroll. It’s one more cog in the machine that is the Talent Management System.


Once an employee is onboarded, they are entered into Payroll (a part of the Talent Management System) so that they can receive their check. This is, of course, an integral part of the process for an employee and many factors need to be managed with respect to their salary or hourly pay. State and Federal tax rates vary depending on the role, some employees have bonus or compensation plans outside of their base salary, and all of this information has to integrate with the financial management system of the company.

Learning Management Software

The last aspect of Talent Management is continuing their education through learning and development which is handled by Learning Management Software (LMS). Dependent on the industry this could involve housing video training modules, testing results, using functional interactives, or any manner of materials that make up a formal learning and development program. These tests and trainings could have a direct affect on employee payscale and so are directly tied to payroll.

What to Look for in a TMS

When thinking of a  TMS, it’s a sum of the parts. First, you need to make sure that each of the systems mentioned above can accomplish what you need them to. Beyond this, however, it is crucial that these systems ”speak” to one another. They need to be fully integrated so that data can flow seamlessly from one to the next without any manual data entry on your part.

Think about just the first two phases, which Newton offers, a Talent Recruitment CRM and Onboarding. If these two do not connect, all of the information that is collected during the recruiting and hiring phase will need to be manually entered into the payroll system. This is an area that is rife with mistakes, which could lead to major financial implications.

Also of concern is the user experience, both for your team internally and for potential candidates. In recruiting, candidate experience plays a huge role in successful hiring. In this day and age employees and former employees have an incredible amount of power when it comes to swaying public opinion. 61% of Glassdoor users report that they seek company reviews and ratings before making a decision to apply for a job- JUST TO APPLY FOR THE JOB! And if the software is hard to use internally, no one on your team will bother with it either.

Applicant Tracking Systems should have:

  • -Mobile-Friendly Careers pages
  • -Automated Job Postings
  • -Built-in, stage-specific email templates
  • -Interview Scheduling integrated with Gmail and Outlook
  • -Feedback gathering mechanisms
  • -Offer Letter Integrations
  • -Compliance reporting functionality

Onboarding Systems should have:

  • -A direct integration to your ATS
  • -Automatic tax form generation
  • -Capture of direct deposit
  • -Integrated WOTC services
  • -Ability to use custom forms
  • -Ability to store, encrypt, and transmit PII

Payroll is everywhere and something that every company, big or small has to have. If you are manually doing your payroll it opens you up to a host of problems including major financial errors, employee lawsuits, lack of efficiency, and lack of oversight, just to name a few. An employee can deal with a lot of problems in the workplace but not getting paid or getting paid the wrong amount is not something they will tolerate.

Payroll Systems should have:

  • -Tax filing and calculations
  • -Tax credit services
  • -Electronic child support payment
  • -Mobile support made for your people
  • -Online W-2s and pay stub history
  • -Proactive cash requirement reporting
  • -Direct deposit

Learning and Development platforms enable companies to both attract new talent and retain top talent. In order to stay relevant and continue to evolve over time companies need to have a consistent plan for how they will continue to educate and train their workforce. This gives current employees new skills as well as provides them with ways to move their own career forward through continuing education. If an employee or prospect sees no room for growth either within their role or the company itself, they will begin to look for new opportunities elsewhere.

Learning and Development Systems should have:

  • -Learning Management
  • -Content Authoring
  • -SCORM Compliance
  • -Certification & Compliance Management
  • -Social Learning
  • -Course Library

Integrating a TMS into your Company

Because Talent Management Systems span the entire employee lifespan, they will be deeply embedded into every function of your business. For this reason, it is imperative that adoption rates of TMS be 100% or any new process launch will fail in the end.

Whether your company has 1 or 1,000+ employees, adoption is the determining factor of any new software launch. Here at Newton, we subscribe to the ADKAR method:

  • -Awareness of the need and reason for change
  • -Desire to support and participate in the change
  • -Knowledge of how to change and the skills necessary
  • -Ability to implement the skills and behaviors needed for change
  • -Reinforcement of the desired behaviors to sustain the change.

When it comes down to it, however, more important than anything is keeping things simple and making sure your employees have all the resources that they need to be successful. At Newton simplicity is one of our three pillars. Whether it be our easy activation timeline (days and weeks, rather than months and quarters), our tailored user trainings, or our systems intuitive workflows, we make it easy for you and your team to get up-and-running in no time.

Start Building Your TMS With Newton

Whether you are just building out your Talent Management System, or you are looking to add Applicant Tracking and Onboarding to your integrated suite of HR products, we can help you out. We have built our ATS and onboarding solutions to seamlessly integrate with your Payroll and other TMS products. We’d love to show you around and discuss how we can help streamline your hiring processes.

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