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SilkRoad’s Talent Management Software Review


SilkRoad’s Talent Management Feature Sets for Social, Mobile & More

In addition to what has already been covered related to SilkRoad’s Life Suite capabilities, prospective buyers looking at potentially short-listing this vendor’s talent management software solution often inquire about additional capabilities. Here, we discuss some of the most common requests as they relate to the company’s social and mobile features, international capabilities, and the additional modules of Point and HeartBeat.

SilkRoad’s Social and Mobile Capabilities

Though we sometimes look at social and mobile as two distinct HR technologies, in the case of SilkRoad’s newest addition to the fold Point, there is an inextricable link that requires us to pair these two feature sets together for this review. In fact, for the SilkRoad Life Suite, the capabilities that Point brings to the table are rapidly making it the glue that holds each of the separate HR software modules together and one of, if not the, differentiating characteristics that separates SilkRoad from other solutions.

As has been mentioned by HR reviews before us, the SilkRoad Point application is immediately enabled upon log-in and appears to be largely designed for tablet use—with large icons that have been constructed to simulate a mobile touchpad. This design aids in creating a user experience that is intuitive and rewarding, and an interface that is easy to navigate and takes advantage of consumer technologies. What truly sets this application apart though is the way that it communicates with the system’s other HR applications. For instance, by integrating with WingSpan for performance management, employees can receive continuous feedback from peers, supervisors, mentors, and other staff. In turn, this recognition can be used as influence in order to demonstrate competence as it relates to the employees’ performance-related goals.

More than almost every other HR technology vendor in the talent management software space, Point has been designed for collaboration and a socially-connected workplace—features that will undoubtedly appeal to those companies looking for a talent management product that meets the needs of the modern workforce. Real-time connections can be made with colleagues by “following them”; expertise can be discovered by leveraging the application’s extensible search capabilities; teams can be aligned via rapid connections, crowdsourcing, content sharing over multiple organizational levels; knowledge can be captured and categorized; documents can be posted and shared to relevant groups (and accessed via Point’s “Your Notebook” tile); and ideas can be shared via discussion hosting.

Still, what appealed to us most in our review of SilkRoad’s Point software was the methodology with which collaboration and influence were being developed. Going beyond recognition elements such as badges, Point aggregates data based on the content being shared, the type and/or amount of validation received, and the parties assigning said validation. This model then creates not only a numerical figure of an individual’s influence (a la Klout), but also a connections “map”, indicating who is relying on whom for specific information. This is critical because of its link to performance—essentially granting unprecedented insight into how employees aid and stack up against each other. However, a tacit, but no less important benefit, is that it provides the organization with a bird’s eye view into where information and/or knowledge gaps exist within the organization.

SilkRoad’s HRMS HeartBeat

SilkRoad's HRMS offering HeartBeat is the least leveraged application in the company’s Life Suite. In large part, this has to do with the relative newness of the application, but a certain amount of responsibility is also owed to a lack of marketing on the part of SilkRoad. Whatever the case may be though, this acquisition turned offering of a core HRMS, was a critical step to shoring up the deficiencies that SilkRoad had in its HR offering. And for those companies that are looking for an end-to-end HR suite, HeartBeat now allows that claim to be made.

On top of simply having the capability for an end-to-end HR software offering though, HeartBeat does bring some much needed functionality to the table. For one, employees and managers can leverage the system to complete a host of self-service functions; including managing time off, enrolling in benefits (via 100+ integrated carriers), and accessing/managing personal information. Further, SilkRoad’s HeartBeat HRMS also offers a comprehensive reporting tool for time off balances (with a standard API for sharing those balances with 3rd-party systems) as well as a benefits dashboard for administrators to track enrollments and other critical details related to benefits administration. However, it should be noted that payroll capabilities at this time are relegated to unidirectional 3rd-party integrations. Granted, those integrations are designed to work with a host of vendors (e.g. ADP, Ceridian, Paychex, Fidelity HR Access, etc.), but nevertheless interfaces must be built to handle those payroll-related tasks.

Perhaps though, the greater benefit of the HeartBeat software is that it can serve as the data repository for SilkRoad’s more impressive solutions. For instance, SilkRoad Point requires a system of record (SOR) in order to access the amount and types of information that are needed; especially regarding elements like company connections, learning, performance, and succession management.

SilkRoad’s Life Suite Analytics Capabilities

Though distinctly absent of the more advanced capabilities that company’s such as Oracle, SAP, and Workday offer (e.g. data warehousing, predictive analytics, in-memory computing, etc.), SilkRoad does provide a basic but solid reporting infrastructure that uses drag and drop filtering/sorting that should be able to meet most of the needs of most businesses on the lower end of the middle market (larger enterprises may need to integrate with a 3rd-party application for greater depth).

Specifically, SilkRoad’s OpenHire software offers built-in reporting queries for hiring metrics, source reporting, budgeting, and job board usage. Further, SilkRoad offers the built-in capability for customers to easily automate EEO-compliance requests and WOTC qualification searching/tracking; enable OFCCP searching/tracking, and draft reports on a host of other compliance-driven data. For analytics needs that fall outside of those common requests, the company features an ad hoc report writing tool for recruiters to create custom reports based on selected fields within the OpenHire application. And much like the services that other HR vendors provide, data exporting can support the file formats of PDF, XLS, Excel, CSV, XML, and HTML. Likewise, SilkRoad HeartBeat offers a similarly robust out-of-the-box report library, capable of handling high-level organizational views down to headcount, time off, and benefits enrollment data.

International Talent Management Software Capabilities

Few HR software vendors in the talent management software market have been as assertive (or successful for that matter) of growing an international presence as SilkRoad. In fact, thanks to the company’s trajectory, 25% of the company’s customers are internationally-based and offices have been opened in Mexico, Scandinavia, London, France, and Japan just within the past year (with Turkey slated soon) in an effort to accommodate growing sales. This global expansion brings their total international office figure to just over 20 (and supported languages to just over 18), with an impressive strategy moving forward to accommodate even more languages and localization capabilities. From our understanding these localized feature sets have also been extended (in a limited capacity) for the company’s HRMS, HeartBeat as well—which is where the bulk of international needs generally fall. Without a payroll application at the moment, payroll processing and broader multiple currency support are handled through partnerships, but we expect these capabilities may in all likelihood be a part of the company’s strategy moving forward.

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