Unified Talent Management: A “One Stop Shop” Approach to Workforce Management


An aging workforce, political turnover, budget constraints, and the ever-present need to balance resources with the agency’s mission are all hard enough to manage as-is, but when you add in having to use outdated talent software, it’s enough to make you…gulp…want to move to the private sector.

The key issue with much of the talent management software used by government agencies is that it doesn’t reflect the evolving goals of today’s workforce, or for that matter, the changing needs of the HR teams who run it. Many agencies still rely on a series of separate tools to manage their workforce; one for recruiting, another for training, etc. Because the programs are unrelated, they don’t ‘talk’ to each other or produce actionable data for administrators. So what does it produce? Mountains of spreadsheets, headaches, and critical data that gets lost in messy e-mail threads.

A best practice approach towards strengthening your workforce is to implement a unified talent management (UTM) system. The ‘unified’ feature is the most critical element because all talent management functions – recruiting, learning, succession, and more – are housed in one location. This enables each program to “talk” to each other to better manage the entire employee lifecycle.

This solves a major budget-shrinking talent problem. Leveraging a single-tool strategy enables hiring teams to use an efficient, streamlined approach for maximizing the capabilities of your agency’s workforce. Read on to discover some must-have benefits to UTM software.


To combat an aging workforce, advances in recruiting technologies will help hiring teams expand traditional search methods to identify younger workers they would not otherwise have had access to. Additionally, social sourcing and big data analytics can build localized talent pools. Both of these features can reduce the length and complexity of the hiring process. Some technologies also provide teams with a top-down solution to review and discuss all applicants and their statuses from one location – no more slogging through long e-mail chains that don’t include the whole team, or searching through multiple threads trying to find one piece of information.


In the public sector, success starts by ensuring all new hires have the right tools and knowledge. But with budgets tightening by the day, why wait until Day 1 to provide those resources?  Once a candidate has been selected, software enables teams to start the onboarding process before the new hire’s first day: documents with e-signature capabilities mean files can be completed ahead of time, with HR teams having document statuses color-coded and in one location, and additional tools facilitate making connections with future colleagues ahead of time.

Learning/Succession Planning

Staff want to develop their careers to avoid plateauing, and agencies must always plan for their own talent future. Rather than approach these as separate, unrelated entities, UTM tools can help organizations align employee goals with their mission. For example, is your Comptroller planning to leave? Do you have a Deputy who wants more responsibility? Learning tools (all on-demand and mobile-friendly) can help that ambitious staff member get the training required to take on that more senior role. This software can also be implemented as a stand-alone feature with content that ensures employees remain trained and compliant.

Jim Gill is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Katarina Hong

Thanks for sharing these practices approach towards strengthening your workforce! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Sonia Chakrabarty

UTM systems seem like a great solution! I’d be interested in hearing more about what it would take for an organization to implement software like this.


An alternate view to UTM is the strategic blending of ‘contingent workers’ (contractors and freelancers) with employees into most, if not all, workforce management activities such as onboarding, development, advancement, and benefit programs. (from http://blog.capterra.com/how-to-use-a-new-talent-management-strategy-to-win-the-escalating-hiring-wars?utm_source=blogcomment&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=answer) It’s definitely a great way to put yourself above your competitors when hiring.