Microsoft recently released the Technical Preview of Microsoft Dynamics for Talent, and I had the opportunity to test drive this new offering in trying to understand what it is all about. And the short version of this blog, is that I am impressed how they’ve brought so many HR functions together into one simple solution.

So what is Dynamics 365 for Talent?

Dynamics 365 for Talent aims to be an Employee Centric solution that takes your common HR functions and brings them together in a meaningful way to both your managers, HR staff and your prospective and current employees.

The solution can be thought of as three separate workloads (or experiences). They are at a high level:

  1. Human Resources
  2. Attract
  3.       Onboard

Let’s have a closer look at each experience and what it offers.

Human Resources

The Human Resources experience primary focus is to streamline the human resource management process.

  • Centralising your HR Programs (Benefits, Credentialing, Absenteeism, Compliance)
  • Professional development (move from once a year evaluation to a daily conversation), create personalised career trajectories. Build competencies to meet future career demand. Increase employee engagement and satisfaction.
  • Benefits and Compensation management – managers view their organisation from a single workspace that includes summaries of their team members along with compensation and performance goals for each individual.
  • Leave and Absence Management
  • Health and Safety
  • People Analytics – build cost effective programs that can be tracked and analysed.

The following are screenshots showing very slick interface for Talent.

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As you can see, there is a navigation bar to the left that is reminiscent of the Office 365 portal navigation bar. This navigation bar can be expanded to a full size bar with the text indicating which areas are available.

There is of course integration to PowerBI dashboards for Employee Analytics.

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Employee self service provides your employees with a single window in which the employee can find all their pertinent organisational and career information.


The Attract experience allows you to build accurate candidate profiles, manage the interview(s) process, improve the ROI of your hiring process, and shorten time-to-hire.

  • Integrates with LinkedIn to find and source top candidates.
  • Create accurate profiles by integrating disparate data.
  • Automatic Interview Scheduling (coordinate calendars, automate scheduling process, communicate to candidates on expectations).
  • Allow interviewers to easily provide feedback from mobile device or desktop.
  • Keeping Hiring Managers in the Loop at every stage

The main screen is a minimalist design with your open job roles, and closed jobs along with their respective statuses (days open and so on).

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When you drill down into a an Active Job, you’ll have another view showing the job details, hiring team, and the active applications and what stage they are within the interview process.

Screen Clipping Drill down even further to the individual Applicant record, you can see a business process flow showing what stage this candidate is at in the interview process, along with features such as automated interview scheduling, their LinkedIn profile information and so on.

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The Onboard experience aims to enable a seamless onboarding experience that accelerates productivity and business impact of new hires, and reduce first three month turnover rates.

  • Create Personalised Pre-boarding and Onboarding Plans
  • Share critical resources and information to get your new hire productive
  • Create onboarding milestones and task lists
  • Identify critical contacts and help make connections
  • Monitor success of onboarding progress

The landing page for Onboard appears similar to the Attract landing page, that is very minimalistic with large tiles for key information. In this case, the tiles represent the new recruits as well as the stage they are at within the pre-boarding and onboarding process.

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When you drill through to a new recruit tile, you’ll be presented with a number of tabs that provide options to send an introduction emails (and my understanding is this can be templated), as well as related activities, key contacts and resources.

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The onboarding activities experience can be configured as such, and note that the lists are drag and drop.

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The contacts screen provides the ability to add Key contacts from your organisation.

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The resources tab allows you to quickly add documents, links, or maps to resources that your new recruit will require. Once again, I believe this can be templated.

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Once you’re finished creating an onboarding plan, you can simply preview and send the welcome pack to your new recruit. The preview looks like this.

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My Thoughts

The interface of the new Dynamics 365 for Talent is super smooth from my perspective. I did not see the ability to customise the screens to the degree I would like, but overall I feel that the human resource process is one that is already well understood by businesses and all the common functions available within this solution will be well understood to new users.

I would like to see how well the recruitment process performs in a real life scenario, as when I tested the solution I found it a little wieldy to demonstrate when I have a single account. It appears that for a candidate to participate in the interview process they need to create a Dynamics for Talent account, I’m not sure if this a hard requirement but it makes sense as they will probably be sending sensitive personal information.

I can certainly see a lot of benefits from a human resource organisational management perspective, as many companies will require their employees and HR staff to be familiar with a number of different systems (e.g. payroll, performance management, onboarding systems). Dynamics for Talent seems to do it all, and eliminates a lot of the context application switching that costs us in productivity.

I couldn’t comment too much on the LinkedIn Integration, as I had only tried pulling profile information for my test candidate from LinkedIn. It seemed work as advertised for that purpose, and hope to delve further into this in near future.

For a first release product, this is super impressive. It’s intuitive and fully featured, and my understanding is that it will only get better as the product matures with new features being released weekly.

If you’re interested in testing Dynamics 365 for Talent – the link to the Technical Preview is provided below: