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Introducing: Talent Management in Khorus

Khorus Team

Posted by Khorus Team
November 13, 2015

Our mission at Khorus is to make our customers the best-run companies on earth.

We've always known that a vital part of fulfilling that mission is helping CEOs and leaders manage their human systems well—and that's why we are extremely excited to announce the new Talent Management component of Khorus. Below, read about why we built it, how it works, and how it can help you build long-term organizational health in your company.

Why did we build Talent Management?

In 2015, buckets of ink were spilt as the business world pondered the failure of legacy performance-management systems. With long cycles, abundant paperwork, inaccurate outputs, and tendency to demotivate employees, it was clear that traditional talent processes—mainly annual ratings and reviews—were failing everyone involved, from frontline workers to the C-suite.

Accordingly, companies like Deloitte, Accenture, Adobe, and GE have very publicly revamped their approach to performance-management. The underlying problems with the old systems were clear:

  • They were complicated and administrative in nature, offering little tangible business value despite the hours they consumed.
  • They were disconnected from the strategic aims of the company.
  • They delivered low-quality feedback (with the only upside being that this low-quality feedback was delivered infrequently).

How did we get here? In part because far too many CEOs stumble by outsourcing people processes entirely to HR. There, talent management takes on the previously mentioned attributes—complexity, irrelevance to business strategy, etc. We wanted, instead, to build something new:

HR software CEOs actually care about.

As the authors of the Harvard Business Review article "People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO" point out, CEOs repeatedly list human capital as a primary concern, yet they rank HR as the eighth or ninth most important function in the company.

Our aim with Talent Management was to offer a solution that helped addressed that inconsistency—something that would give CEOs visibility and influence in the human systems of their organization, and would elevate the HR leader from the bottom of the executive totem pole to a rightful place at or near the top.

How does Talent Management work?

To meet this aim, we added the two features that make up Talent Management in Khorus.

First, we created streamlined quarterly appraisals, which all managers can use to deliver regular, documented feedback. Two big differences from business-as-usual here:

(1) The appraisal begins with a review of the employee's Khorus goals for the quarter. This keeps the appraisal centered on how the employee performed against tangible goals (aligned with company priorities) and what they can do next quarter to keep improving. This is a simple but important improvement on a common scenario, where the manager relies on unassisted recall to deliver feedback, and focuses unduly on trifling matters or a series of arbitrary numerical ratings.

(2) The appraisal happens each quarter, not just once a year. The 90-day cadence ends the long "feedback deserts" of standard annual reviews, and helps employee, manager, and leadership team readjust to changing circumstances.

Appraisals in Khorus consists of a free-form text field for documenting feedback, plus a confidential rating of the employee on two measures: Performance and Potential. The whole process is fast, focused, and paperless, and CEOs can easily track compliance, seeing up-to-date information on which managers have and haven’t completed their appraisals.

Khorus appraisal

An appraisal in Khorus


Second, we built the Talent Dashboard—the real game-changer for the CEO and HR leadership. This dashboard rolls up quarterly Performance and Potential ratings and shows the CEO, HR, and department heads a heat map of talent across the company and teams. (This type of view will be familiar to anyone who's ever used McKinsey's 9-box methodology.)

talent dashboard.png

The Talent Dashboard

 CEOs and HR heads can use the Talent Dashboard to:

  • Plan strategically, ensuring they have the bench strength to meet future needs.
  • Understand exactly who their A-players are.
  • Assess the leadership pipeline and nurture high-potential team members.
  • Compare performance ratings with actual performance against goals in Khorus.
  • Predict more accurately whether teams will meet expected outcomes.
  • Share talent-related insights with functional leaders.
  • See the performance track record of various teams and individuals.


How will Talent Management help your company?

Ultimately, Talent Management pairs with the rest of Khorus to form a holistic organizational-health system. In one place, the CEO and leadership team can ensure that their human systems are robust, and that employees are treated not as cogs in a wheel but as individuals who represent the key to the company's success. 

Ready to try Khorus? We'd love to talk to you.

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Khorus Team

Khorus Team

Our mission is simple: to make our customers the best-run organizations on earth.