I attended the Taleo customer conference last week in Chicago where CEO Michael Gregoire in his opening session speech boasted about Taleo’s recent acquisition of Learn.com, a $26 million private learning company that Taleo had just bought for $125 million. (Wow!) He admitted he had never been pro learning management systems but that Taleo’s customers’ expressed learning needs had made him a convert to the importance of having an LMS.

Throughout the first day of the conference, many Taleo executives talked about how the acquisition made Taleo a complete talent management company with strong recruiting, which is their heritage along with performance, compensation, and now learning to round out their offerings. This is exactly what I recommend in my research, "The Four Pillars Of Talent Management".

If we are going to have organizations that put a premium on skilled, knowledgeable, and happy employees, there must be a seamless integration among these essential components. Recruiting and onboarding become a process of hiring the right people, ramping them up quickly to full productivity while integrating them into the company culture and putting new hires into an employee performance management plan linked to appropriate learning activities. By linking performance to compensation and non-monetary rewards, employees are more likely to feel that they are valued members of the company team.

 Taleo is well on its way to providing a well-rounded solution. Since Learn.com had focused primarily on the SMB market, Taleo will have work to do to make Learn.com a learning solution attractive to larger customers, of which Taleo has many in the recruiting space. Taleo will no doubt look to its recruiting base for those customers who don’t have a learning management system or have one with minimal capabilities and then sell into this market. Learn.com also has some social learning features and a very flexible subportal or domain capability to meet customers’ needs for distinct learning groups as well as external users whose learning needs are different from employees.

Integrated talent management is not an easy process and should start with the most critical pain points and continue until a well integrated system is in place. Some companies will choose to integrate some of these processes from different vendors, especially if they already have a recruiting and/or performance application in place that is working well. Best advice: Limit the number of vendors to make integration easier and get as close as possible to a seamless total offering. Retaining your workforce is critical to your business, and strategic talent management will help you get there.