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Talent management solution integral to university’s strategic plan

University System of New Hampshire implements Ellucian Talent Management Suite
University Business, December 2012

With its four institutions—the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, Keene State College, and Granite State College—the University System of New Hampshire is the largest provider of postsecondary education in the state, serving more than 35,000 students, and including more than 3,000 employees.

The university system’s leadership recently decided they needed to implement a new strategic plan for managing employees. “We sought to change campus culture as it relates to performance evaluations and goal setting,” says Carol Powers, associate director of HR for information services. “We hoped that by tying the work of employees to the mission statements of the entire university system, we could strengthen the workforce, raise confidence, link productivity to strategic planning, and increase awareness of the importance of an employee’s day-today contributions.”

The human resources office felt that talent management software was the tool necessary to help them achieve this vision. Talent management software enables HR departments to recruit employees that meet specific needs, retain their best employees, improve talent through extensive and productive feedback, and help facilitate succession by identifying the skill sets that need to be replaced. “We also wanted software that is effective, dependable, and easy to use,” says Powers.

Because of USNH’s positive experience with their other products, administrators chose to implement the new talent management solution from Ellucian. The Ellucian Talent Management Suite is designed specifically for education institutions. The software offers three specific modules: Recruiting, Learning, and Performance. While each can be implemented alone or as part of a suite, all three function on the same principle—that exhaustive data collection is the key to efficient, accurate and economical talent management.

The software is also flexible, allowing customers to modify the modules to their specific needs. “We are able to control the look and feel of the product and determine a roll-out schedule that is in sync with our culture change,” says Powers. “For example, because of our emphasis on performance and strategic planning, we chose to implement the Performance module first.”

This module helps identify and track diverse leadership qualities and skill sets. By quantifying particular talent metrics, the Performance module ensures that the best talent is tracked and promoted in an unbiased manner. “One of our campuses went live with the module, and those employees have entered their goals and perspectives for the current fiscal year,” explains Powers. “The remaining four campuses have had initial training and are currently working with the campus HR directors on further development of performance evaluation tools.”

USNH will implement the Learning module next. The Learning module is designed to facilitate current talent in meeting the goals of their department through professional development. By tracking data focused on specific skill gaps and needs, the module helps deliver the right training to the right people. USNH is also currently scheduling a future demonstration of the Recruiting module.

This module takes full advantage of the current hiring environment by equipping HR departments with a wealth of search tools. Departmental collaboration and applicant management within the software ensure that the right person is identified to fill an open position, whether that person is found internally or externally. USNH’s strategic plan to create a new approach to talent management is far from complete. “We readily acknowledge that it will take time to implement this plan in a thoughtful and productive way,” says Powers. “But as we move forward, I’m thankful to have access to a technical tool that assists employees and supervisors in tracking and reporting on goals and objectives.”

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