INTERVIEW: Brian Platz on the Point of Talent Management

by Sharlyn Lauby on November 6, 2011

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is sponsored by SilkRoad technology, a leading global provider of cloud-based talent management software.  Their award-winning SilkRoad Life Suite is an integrated set of solutions that power businesses with the latest Web 2.0 and social media innovations: OpenHire for recruiting, RedCarpet for onboarding, WingSpan for performance management, GreenLight for learning management, Eprise for employee Intranets, and HeartBeat for trusted core HR.)

I’m really excited to share my interview with Brian Platz, chief operating officer at SilkRoad technology.  SilkRoad has been a tremendous friend of HR Bartender for many years.  They just announced an innovative new product offering, called Point, that is sure to have us all talking about the future of talent management.

SilkRoad recently announced a new offering, called Point, to complement its current suite of talent management solutions.  Can you share with readers what Point does?

Point is a cloud-based social collaboration tool that brings together the most compelling features of social media and measures the ‘influence’ of each contributor within your organization. It is a social tool specifically designed for and around talent management.

What prompted SilkRoad to develop Point?

We’ve been working on Point for about two years now, it was driven by a desire to make ongoing talent development and performance more employee-centric, and allow companies to get away from the traditional processes that have not kept up with the times related to how business, and especially employee behavior in business, has evolved. We believe Point provides a massive leap forward in how employers view talent, and gives them far more clarity than ever before. It is truly a fundamental shift from those traditional talent management processes we all have been using for over 50 years.

I’ve had the advantage of seeing a demo of Point.  It’s something truly unique in the HR space. For our readers who haven’t seen it, could you share 1-2 of the standout benefits companies will realize by using Point?

Point gives tremendous visibility into what an employee actually does in your organization, the skills they are relied upon, and their relative influence. We believe that companies today have a severe lack of insight into this, perhaps really knowing as little as 10% of the picture. After all, their data is primarily coming from performance reviews, job descriptions and resumes – all of which are not well regarded for their accuracy and insights.

talent management, cloud-based, software, SilkRoad, management, influence

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Imagine knowing 100% of the picture, and exactly how all the knowledge and information is flowing inside your organization. It changes not one or two things, but everything. You know the exact skills needed to recruit successful people for a position, you can onboard employees faster by connecting them to the right sources of knowledge and relationships needed to succeed, you can better understand who your real stars are in performance and merit discussions and have a clear picture of what you need to replace in a succession plan.

That is just the tip of the iceberg, and plus employees love using it. They have more control over the skills they develop and they are more productive in their jobs.

One of the key elements within Point is the aspect of influence and recognizing the influence of employees at every level.  What do you see as the rationale for companies to encourage the evaluation of individual influence?

Influence is what matters. Modern businesses need to be highly collaborative and be able to react to information and trends quickly. Individuals with influence, or those that have knowledge that is relied upon by others, are the most valuable assets of your organization. They are the ones who make the company tick, or not tick.

But back to the employee’s perspective – Point is what your new workforce wants. They want to have visibility into their influence, a sense of control over it, and a way to see how they can improve it. We make that information available, allow others to find the information easily, and give the employee a hand on the steering wheel to help drive their own personal development. It becomes about engagement and meaning for your employee; it is about productivity and success for the company. A win-win.

SilkRoad announced Point during the Human Resource Executive’s 14th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition.  Tell us how the announcement went and what conference attendees said about Point.

The announcement was great! Very exciting! HR Tech is always a big event for us; making this game-changing announcement made it even more remarkable. We had a great time showing demos and received some great feedback – both from analysts and media as well as from attendees who stopped by the booth.

People really understood what we were sharing with them and asked some great questions. In the couple weeks since we slowly started sharing this news, we have received a lot of similar questions (How will it integrate with X solution/feature? Have you considered the effect it could have on recruiting – more accurate job descriptions? Is this too progressive for some companies? What happens if an employee has a higher influence score than their manager?)

We love these questions. It really shows that people are thinking about this and considering how it could be implemented into their own organizations. The more we got into the solution, the more uses people began to see for Point – such as developing a closer connection between performance and learning, replacing company intranets, etc. The biggest complements we received were the ones that said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ or ‘the possibilities for this are endless.’

An added bonus was the great write-ups we saw, like those from John Zappe at TLNT, Josh Bersin, and Brian Sommer at ZDNet.

Many thanks to Brian for taking time to share Point with me.  This is definitely something you will want to check out for yourself. For more information about SilkRoad and their solutions, you can visit the SilkRoad website and for specifics on Point, visit their Point solutions page.  SilkRoad keeps the HR community informed of updates and new announcements concerning Point through their social media channels so be sure to connect with them too.

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