In 2008, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) won a new contract with the US Department of Energy. With the new mission, there was a higher level of emphasis on managing the people side of the business and implementing a unified talent management solution to help the organization manage talent. SRNS set out to increase accountability and empower individuals with the skills and authority to drive higher organizational performance.
In the past, SRNS had separate systems in place for managing each of these aspects of talent development: performance reviews, succession planning, and employee development. Those systems did not share information and provide a cohesive, underlying structure for the pro¬cesses. Working with Taleo’s expertise, SRNS now has a unified tool that brings together these various aspects of talent development within the organization.
Implementing Taleo was the catalyst that pushed SRNS to initiate a competency framework foundation for job descriptions, performance reviews, succession planning, and employee development. “The driving force was implementing the system. If we answer specific questions now about how it will all fit together and connect it with the philosophy behind the job descriptions, this will drive the cultural changes we want,” explains Jim Scarbrough, Workforce Services - Talent Management at SRNS.
SRNS also effectively aligned individual goals with departmental and organizational missions. Executives in the organization are now able to establish top-level organizational goals for the year and then cascade those goals down to all employees throughout the organization. “As an organization, we really wanted to connect individual performance with organizational success,” says Scarbrough. “Since implementing Taleo, many managers are now able to verbalize what their group is specifically doing to help the company be successful in reaching its goals.”
Taleo is also a key component of the SRNS talent management strategy to address the impending retirement of a large portion of the workforce. Over 38 percent of SRNS employees are 55 years old or older. SRNS is developing an extensive knowledge management process which included developing tools and applications where individuals can network, share knowl¬edge, and get answers to their questions. Another piece of SRNS’s strategy involved identifying key knowledge holders and the successors who will capture their knowledge.
The company is setting up mentorship relationships and development programs. “Using Taleo as the system of record to set up those mentorship processes and relationships, we now have development plans that capture the process,” says Scarbrough. “We’ve seen a broader acceptance of the succession planning process and a lot of excitement from our management team about the ability to put logic behind our development plans.” SRNS was also able to streamline succes¬sion planning by moving away from spreadsheet-driven processes.
Because SRNS is a contractor for the Department of Energy, the organization must comply with very stringent information security requirements. A driving factor for Taleo’s selection was the ability to adhere to these strict standards. “When we started the process of looking for a vendor to meet our talent management needs, I was told we would not be able to use a Software-as-a-Service provider,” says Scarbrough. “Because of the Taleo security practices and the knowledge and talent that Taleo brought to the table, they were able to break through the barrier. Since implementing the system, the execution has been flawless and we have not had a single security issue.”
“From the very beginning, the sales team was very helpful in demonstrating the product and helping us think through the things we could accomplish with Taleo. During the selection process, as we started discussing the security requirements and processes, Taleo was instrumental in connecting the right people from their team with the right people from our team to discuss the requirements on a highly technical level,” said Jim Scarbrough, workforce services - talent management, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.
This story was originally published on Taleo.com.