Have you discovered Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 for Talent app yet?

We’ve been having a look around it, ready to discuss with a keen client and we’re already quite impressed by its first release. It has more features than we expected at this stage with more being released weekly. It was immediately clear how different job roles could use the app to improve so many processes, recruitment and HR processes to everyone’s benefit. The digital transformation benefits are instant.

The big themes are talent recruitment, onboarding and development.


Talent Recruitment

  • Integrates with LinkedIn to find and source top candidates
  • See who has already interacted with you on LinkedIn
  • Automatic interview scheduling (coordinate calendars, automate scheduling process, communicate to candidates on expectations)
  • Allow interviewers to easily provide feedback from mobile or desktop
  • Keeping hiring managers in the loop at every stage

As it currently stands, lots of us (businesses and recruitment agencies alike) are using LinkedIn to find candidates and to encourage them to apply for a position. It takes a lot of to and fro and if you are a business using a recruitment consultant, it’s easy to fall out the loop of what stage things are at.

Add to that the other sources of applicants and the ongoing admin that comes with selection, interviewing, feedback and offers; it can all get very confusing.


Interview Scheduling

With Dynamics 365 for Talent, everything happens in the app where you can directly find out about applicants, click into their LinkedIn profile to see more about them, find out more about their application, look at their cv, their connections and identify the strongest candidates. From there, you can invite for interview. On invitation, the candidate can log into Dynamics 365 and select the best date. The interview team can then be invited and because of the integration with Office 365, you can check the team’s availability really easily without switching between lots of screens. Once you find a suitable date for everyone you go ahead and push the invitation in the same way and receive responses back into Dynamics. Then you can provide the candidate with more information about the interview.


Assessing Candidates

It’s tricky getting everyone into a room to discuss a candidate’s suitability following an interview. If you don’t gather there and then, it can be difficult to remember the specifics of the interview and insight can be lost between decision makers with disparate emails, texts and phone calls. So Dynamics 365 allows your interviewers to add their thoughts into the same location on the app, making for a fuller discussion with context for quick reference. Once you know you have the right candidate, you can offer them the job from the app allowing you to keep track of what stage the offer is at. And if this candidate isn’t the right one? Keep them on file. There may be another role for them and you’ll already have intelligence without that awkward ‘do you remember that person we saw back in March last year?’



Once your candidate has accepted the position, you can help them become a happy and effective member of the team quickly with colleague introductions and personalised pre-boarding/on-boarding plans that allow you to share critical resources and information with task lists. Not only does it save the to and fro of email between individuals, it’s a fantastic way to monitor the success of onboarding and to link the new individual into other members of the team. You can stage the onboarding with what can be accessed pre-contract v contract sign off.


Staff and Team Development

One of the biggest benefits at an individual level is the employee self service for professional development. Rather than waiting for those one-to-one’s or annual appraisals, employees can have a daily conversation with HR or their line managers over the areas that they would like further training or support on. With every employee on Dynamics 365 for Talent, they can see a personalised career trajectory (improving employee engagement and satisfaction) and you can see where you are building competencies to meet future demand. It’s also a great spot to allocate talent to suitable projects.

At a day-to-day operational level, this app makes managing leave, absence, health and safety, staff benefits, compensation and employee analytics really straightforward.

This is about individual profiles built from Dynamics 365, LinkedIn and Office 365 that helps you find, retain, manage and develop talent from the beginning. It’s easily understandable and by bringing so many HR functions into one simple solution, businesses can actually spend more time making decisions and less time chasing the admin.

So far it’s a thumbs up.

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Let’s start this blog by clarifying that Microsoft Dynamics 365 v9.0 is a major release. There are lots of changes so although it has been described as a July release, it’s going to take longer than that with some changes coming through Private Preview/Preview programmes first. It will also roll out to Dynamics 365 Cloud solutions first with Dynamics 365 On-Premise getting relevant updates afterwards. This isn’t about Microsoft taking their time. The changes all take Dynamics 365 forward with its modular, app-centric approach meaning that your updates can be phased instead of one big hit.


  1. The Dynamics 365 Business Edition is coming! SMB’s can now get the Finance and Operations App for Business Edition. Next up will be a connected Sales App for Business Edition followed by Marketing. Combined, they’ll make up the Dynamics 365 Business Edition providing one complete loop from lead to invoice on one interface.
  1. Dynamics 365 Marketing users on Enterprise edition will need to continue with Click Dimensions but for SMB’s, the Business Edition will have 60+ marketing email templates.
  1. There are two bits of interface news. Business edition users are first to experience Microsoft’s new Unified Client Interface. Mobile and web experiences will become more consistent and use a responsive user interface that will adapt to browsers and devices. So, it’s goodbye ‘synchronizing changes’ and hello consistency. It also means optimized navigation, mobile responsive dashboards, full form capabilities, mobile custom controls to name a few.
  1. Dynamics 365 Enterprise users will get a refreshed web client interface in response to user feedback (everyone can have a say https://ideas.dynamics.com/ideas/). The update means word wrap fields, better form tab formatting and the ability to extend theme capabilities and standardize fonts.
  1. One of our version 9.0 favourites, the New Activity Timeline, tracks a record’s complete history in one timeline and removes the need to click between tabs and a brilliant ‘What I Missed’ filter. You will still be able to configure what appears in the feed.
  1. The mobile experience goes beyond the addition of the unified client interface, and the activity timeline. Dynamics 365 Mobile users now have pinch and zoom charts in mobile dashboards, lots of new chart types to visualize data, chart and list views on one screen, form switching, better form navigation, customer controls for all form factors and, finally; relevance search and advanced filtering.
  1. Mobile can be offline or online by app and user – ideal for different levels of permissions amongst users.
  1. External data can now be read and displayed in runtime with new Virtual Entities that are stored like any other entity within Dynamics 365 so your data can be used in business process automation etc.
  1. Interactions in Customer Engagement Portals will now be visible in Dynamics Customer Insights including forum, knowledge base and search click actions. Not only that, a portal admin wizard will make it easy to add Dynamics365 content into portals.
  1. The Business Process Flow has had some TLC too with the stages able to be displayed in either floating or docked mode and vertical alignment so it’s easier to see what’s next.
  1. The Customer Service Hub (formerly known as the Interactive Service Hub) is built on the new Unified Client Interface so it’s accessible from mobile and doesn’t require a metadata download. It also allows you to ‘Bring Your Own Bot’ to extend the chat/co-browse capabilities in Live Assist.
  1. Security has been improved too with a configurable maximum session length and timeout if it’s left unattended. Warnings can also be configured allowing users to save their work.
  1. Microsoft Social engagement will support LinkedIn and Youtube as sources soon. LinkedIn Sales Navigator widgets allow you to sync with Dynamics 365 and identify the best contacts to connect with, account news, mutual connections and potential leads.
  1. Microsoft Social Engagement is bringing in a Social Selling Assistant that lets Sales teamwork from a digest of promoted posts to expand their network.
  1. Power BI brings more detail to social insights from all social activity and with the capability to listen in on LinkedIn soon, it will be a great way to review.
  1. Customer Insights makes the most of Intelligent Analytics with visualizations of every customer’s journey in one dashboard.
  1. Organisation Insights lets you monitor how Dynamics365 is being used within your business.
  1. There will be Native support for HTML email production and source code editing.
  1. There will be some Connected Field Service Enhancements for Spring 2018. Lots of details are still to be confirmed but universal scheduling will be great for field service solutions that fit industry demands.
  1. Customer Insights will be GDPR compliant by the end of 2017. And version 9.0’s general availability.


Register for our upcoming webinar on Thursday 14th September, 11am, to gain an overview of Dynamics 365 and how it provides role-based solutions for every part of your business.