HR Pros & Cons: the best point solutions vs integrated talent management systems

When considering HR solutions, organizations typically consider researching and investigating best-of-breed point solutions as well as so-called integrated talent management systems. At a high level, the issues might seem straight forward. The pros and cons are widely known — or assumed.


  • Typically represents the leading software tool or product in a particular market or segment. These solutions are geared towards providing the best features and functions for a specific component within a process or workflow.
  • Specifically designed for a particular business application, requirement or problem, such as hiring or onboarding. The implication is that its functionality is far more powerful than the equivalent module in a “fully-integrated” solution.
  • Vendors have specialists in a particular area of focus.


  • Multiple user interfaces that an organization’s users must learn.
  • Integration between different HR functions.
  • Potential for duplicated data entry and decreased productivity.
  • Dealing with multiple vendors.

At the same time, proponents – typically vendors – of integrated talent management systems extoll the virtues of simplicity – including a single user interface, the simplicity of working with just a single vendor, no integration challenges and perhaps even cost. Buy a single system from a single vendor, the theory goes, and all your HR problems will be solved – easily.

HireRoad’s Best-of-Breed Solutions — Beyond the Assumptions

With modern technology from HireRoad, the typical “cons” associated with a best-of-breed vendor have been eliminated.

For example, the HireRoad Partner Cloud provides leading interoperability capabilities that remove the obstacles of integration between systems. With a robust set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), the HireRoad Partner Cloud provides seamless integration between core HR and other HR systems, as well as other databases.

HireRoad’s Single Sign-on feature means working with different HR functions is simple, and our integration between HIreRoad’s recruitment, onboarding and performance management systems is straightforward for HR, executives, managers and employees

Beyond the Check Marks – Dig Deeper

If you are researching HR solutions, chances are you’re considering best-of-breed and integrated solutions. We recommend a thoughtful approach that digs deep into your organization’s environment and specific challenges as you look to make your decision. That means going beyond simply whether you can accept multiple user interfaces or not, for example. Or if you are open to more or less integration of systems, as another example.

Consider, very seriously, what problems you are trying to solve, and which solution of all of them will help you solve your problems. As an HR leader, you are charged with improving the performance of your workforce to help your organization achieve its goals. If a solution can’t do that, it’s ultimately not going to help.

Also, review what is required of your organization in its position in the marketplace. If your organization is in a regulated industry, for example, you may be obligated to work according to particular hiring or review processes or laws and be accountable to the general constituency to uphold them. While security is important to everyone, the risk of data breach/loss to your customers is of paramount importance because the data represents those looking out for the public and your customers likely represent a high-profile target to bad actors.

Regulated industries also typically hire for very specific positions with exacting requirements. Mapping these processes into technology requires a high level of flexibility.

All these considerations should be at the forefront of your decision-making process.

Solving Your Unique Challenges and Problems

In any analysis of HR solutions, it is important to review your specific challenges and problems. Some related to recruitment and performance management, along with associated solution requirements, are stated here.


  • Complex recruitment processes

Without a consistent process and enforcement of your organization’s hiring processes developed by HR or required by law, you end up with increased costs of hiring and poor quality of hire.

Requirement: a flexible workflow engine.

  • Attracting quality talent

Without quality talent in place, it’s difficult for organizations to achieve quality outcomes. You need a single gateway to execute a sourcing strategy that reaches the right talent.

Requirement: a single gateway to execute a sourcing strategy that reaches the right talent.

  • Lengthy-time to hire results in a loss of quality candidates

Qualified candidates have options in a competitive job market. The longer a position is unfilled, the more work must be absorbed by others driving down workforce performance and morale.

Requirement: automation that fits your workflow processes.

  • HR’s time is consumed assisting hiring managers in the hiring process

If the HR team is pulled into executing administrative duties, HR staff members do not have enough time for their regular HR duties.

Requirement: a self-service tool for hiring managers to guide and support them through the hiring process

  • New employees aren’t ready to make an impact on Day 1.

A poor onboarding program translates into lost productivity in the early stages of employment, which leads to low employee engagement. If there is poor onboarding, new employees lose confidence in the organization, which leads to low morale and high turnover.

 Requirement: an onboarding program that fits your processes and dovetails from the hiring process.

  • Insight into hiring bottlenecks and costs.

Without analytical insight into the hiring processes, it is difficult or impossible to understand where problems such as bottlenecks are occurring, and therefore it is difficult or impossible to take corrective action.

 Requirement: a robust people analytics solutions to provide executive and operational insight to all in an organization with a need to know.

Performance Management

  • Employee goals are misaligned with organizational goals

If your organization didn’t hit its goals last year, one of the reasons might be that your employees weren’t aligned on what they were supposed to be doing. Setting goals and expectations throughout the organization is critical to ensure that everyone keeps their eye on the ultimate goals and mission.

Requirement: a framework for organizations to communicate and establish goals and initiatives throughout the organization, and thereby measure performance.

  • The organization does not follow consistent performance management processes

Many performance management processes take an inordinate amount of time and aren’t completed in a timely fashion. This leads to little change in performance each year.

Requirement: an automated system that is flexible enough to accommodate the goals and objectives of the organization and that is easy to use.

  • Lack of visibility into how your workforce is performing against its KPIs

Without measuring against organizations goals and objectives, it’s difficult to tell if the workforce is performing optimally.

Requirement: a performance management system that has performance and workforce data that can be delivered in real-time, for the employees, managers and executives.

Your Decision

When it comes down to solving your particular workforce performance problems and challenges, be careful to look carefully “under the hood” of any potential solution, paying particular attention to your organization’s unique issues. Think about how a solution will fit into your unique environment and organization, and how the HR solutions will be used daily by your employees. Understand limitations, and how much of an impact they will have.

Typically, the solution designed to address your specific problems, with the ability to adapt to them, will carry the day for you and your organization.