What is the Difference Between Learning Management System vs. Talent Management System?

What is the difference between learning management system vs. talent management system? There are a few distinctions, although in the organizational setting, both can be generally classified under human capital management. These are the five key differences:

  1. Foundation
  2. Function
  3. Features
  4. Users
  5. Price

Learning Management System vs. Talent Management System

While learning management system (LMS) and talent management software (TMS) have a common bond that revolves around the learning requirements of employees in an organization, their function is quite diverse. Let’s put this in a use case scenario. You need to train your sales people but they are scattered in different branch offices across the country. And then you need to hire new reps to beef up your sales department.

You have two different issues that relate to your sales workforce. The two solutions can be used in parallel to address the aforementioned scenarios with LMS helping you create and deliver training courses wherever your sales reps may be, and TMS helping you recruit, onboard and orient/train new sales persons. You can see complementary roles, but LMS and TMS functionality is vitally distinct.

Therefore, the answer to the question what is the difference between learning management system vs. talent management system primarily lies in the function. But there are also distinctions when it comes to principles or foundations that govern the systems, as well as features, target users, and pricing.


5 Differences between LMS vs. TMS

1. Foundation

The basic characteristic that separates LMS from TMS is the principle that governs each. The keyword for LMS is learning and by extension, regardless of what type of organization it is implemented, involves skill and knowledge enhancement. Its foundation, therefore, enables wide applicability whether in universities and academic institutions to corporate and business settings.

On the other hand, TMS revolves around four pillars – recruitment, performance management, learning and development, and compensation management. While there is also the learning component, it is more focused on the onboarding and training of new employees to further develop and fine tune their skills and optimize workforce talent.

2. Function

LMS comes as a software application designed to help you administer, deliver, document, report, and track educational courses and training programs. Although there are other tools and means to deliver learning content, the LMS concept emerged directly from e-learning which encourages distance education. In 2014, some 3.4 million college students were enrolled in full online programs, accounting for almost 17% of all college students. That figure for online enrollment is projected to increase to nearly 25% of all college students by 2020.

TMS is designed to let you qualify, manage, and retain talent guided by the foundations we’ve mentioned earlier. One study found out that a third of employees left their jobs even before reaching six months citing as top reasons poor onboarding and lack of clarity regarding job duties and expectations. Employee turnover and attrition rates are on the rise and have become a big challenge for organizations worldwide. This is why HR managers consider retention a top priority and are investing in solutions such as TMS to ensure efficient onboarding and, together with LMS, keep employees engaged, updated of their roles, and continually trained.

ClearCompany is a TMS solution designed to help you find, hire, and manage talent.

3. Features

LMS and TMS come with features and capabilities in line with their respective function. Here’s a brief rundown of tools and features:


  • Supports & leverages e-learning tools
  • Course builder and editor
  • Customized course delivery/learning paths
  • Portal for course materials/knowledge base/self-service
  • Centralized, searchable repository of files, documents & data
  • Import/export & file sharing
  • Group classes – ILT learning, blended learning, virtual classrooms
  • Create quizzes, tests & gamification
  • Custom branding
  • Reporting & analytics
  • Certification
  • Video library
  • Surveys & feedbacks
  • Shopping cart/ecommerce
  • Mobile platform
  • Integration


  • Application tracking/sourcing/referral/background checking
  • Onboarding/orientation/training
  • Performance review/productivity analytics/competency management
  • Leadership development/talent identification and selection
  • Learning administration/learning content/e-learning
  • Collaborative/social learning
  • Testing, assessment & certification
  • Workforce management & analytics

SAP Litmos provides gamification features to recognize your top students and learners.

4. Users

The primary users of LMS are those that conduct learning courses – authors, instructors, administrators, team leaders – and the recipients of such courses which are the students and learners. Multiple people in every organization can use a learning management system. Authors are the ones who create e-learning courses, content, and modules. Team leaders or unit managers identify employees or team members who need skill enhancement or those who are qualified and capable of learning new skills. Administrators are usually tasked with the enrolment, registration, and management of learners.

Learners in the corporate setting are the employees who have been chosen by team leaders or department managers to learn new skills or enhance existing skills. In the academic milieu, learners are the students who enroll in the courses, access these course materials, take tests and quizzes, and are tracked and monitored by authors and instructors.

For TMS, the main users are HR executives and managers tasked to recruit and manage new employees. These HR professionals are responsible for recruiting qualified job candidates; onboarding and orienting new hires on company policies and regulations as well as job responsibilities and work details; ensuring optimum employee performance levels; and implementing and managing employee compensation/reward system and guidelines.

LMS tools can be utilized under TMS for learning and training purposes such as when you need to conduct skills training for your people in the field or in other geographies. Sending them all in to the head office for regular skills trainings is expensive. It would be more practical to use LMS tools such as video conferencing, live chat, online company portals, and collaboration platforms, among others, that can produce the same intended results at less time and cost.

5. Price

Speaking of cost, the difference between LMS and TMS largely depends on the vendor. Generally, however, you get lots of options when it comes to LMS cost and pricing. It’s because LMS normally offer a pay-per-feature pricing model letting you get only the features and modules that you initially need, and add other features later.

Adding to the pricing flexibility, you can also opt for a pay-per-user plan wherein price can go down to a single figure the more learners you enroll. Likewise, many LMS solutions offer free plans and low-cost premium subscription packages, giving you many entry choices depending on your organization’s learning program requirements.

Like LMS, pricing for talent management solutions can vary widely. You’ll also encounter many TMS vendors making available their products through quote or custom pricing taking into considerations factors such as size of business and frequency of use. Many TMS are also offered as components or add-on modules of full HR or HCM solutions.

For details on pricing of individual solutions check out our learning management software reviews.

Talent LMS offers a forever free plan and other SMB and enterprise premium packages.

Examples of LMS Software

1. TalentLMS

TalentLMS is designed to train your employees, partners, customers or students through a simple and fully customizable cloud platform. It comes with comprehensible analytics so you’ll know what’s happening inside your e-learning environment.

It also offers strong support for SCORM & TinCan (xAPI), course selling, video-conferencing, notifications, gamification, extensible user profiles, and more. It’s built out-of-the-box to be responsive on whatever mobile device to enable you to access the platform and deliver information and training materials to your workforce anytime, anywhere.

With TalentLMS you can build e-learning courses in minutes as well as use old videos and presentations or employ a variety of online materials using social integrations. It can be configured to meet your business needs and branding requirement, letting you add a custom logo, create themes, or map an external domain to personalize the tool.

It offers course authoring, course catalog, custom reporting, file exchange, automated actions, and course marketplace and eCommerce, among others. A free plan for 5 users and 10 courses is available as well as several other premium plans with the lowest priced at $29/month for up to 25 users and unlimited courses.

To see this product’s features in action, be sure to sign up for TalentLMS free trial here.

2. SAP Litmos

SAP Litmos boasts of more than 4 million user including SMBs, not-for-profits, and some of the largest corporations such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Pepsico. Dubbed as the easiest to use LMS in the world, Litmos is able to automate internal and external learning programs without requiring dedicated staff training and expensive installations.

In fact, all you need to manage a successful learning program is a hassle and clutter-free dashboard with around eight menu items. The cloud-hosted system takes care of everything as it unifies virtual, classroom, mobile and social learning as well as eCommerce capabilities in one secure and scalable platform.

Among its features are an online course builder, ILT-led training, learning paths, assessments and quizzes, gamification and leaderboards, messages and notifications, reports and dashboards, surveys and feedback, and course monetization using pre-packaged eCommerce tools.

It is able to integrate with nearly two dozen apps including HR, payroll, CMS, customer service and support, online storage, email marketing, payment gateway, and video conferencing, giving you a fully extensible platform capable of handling a variety of functions. Four plans are offered where you can choose custom pricing or per user pricing that can go as low as $4/user per month.

For more information about this product’s functionalities, you can sign up for SAP Litmos free trial here.

3. Docebo

Docebo is a cloud e-learning widely regarded as the most comprehensive solution for training management. It is built to provide e-learning features and modules that can be adapted to any requirement and environment. The feature-rich and highly secure platform supports all forms of learning including blended, social and mobile learning initiatives.

You can easily upload and share your training materials like PPT, PDF, SCORM, Tin Can and Video files as well as initiate trainings on the go with its mobile capabilities.

The software’s course tracking features enable you to easily monitor and track the training performance of your workforce and can scale as your e-learning projects evolve and your training requirements expand.

While most learning management systems are focused on internal employees training, Docebo can be utilized for customers, partners, prospects, and resellers with its extensible and configurable platform. The software can integrate with dozens of third-party apps and is offered through quote-based plans.

Should you want to get a closer look at what this platform can do, be sure to sign up for Docebo free trial here.

4. OpenEduCat

OpenEduCat is a highly flexible and customizable educational institution management platform. It employs a modular approach for meeting the unique requirements of learning institutions while ensuring that they only pay for the functionalities that they need. This makes the platform highly scalable as well, allowing educational institutes to upgrade to a more feature-packed package as they expand their operations.

OpenEduCat includes tools for managing one’s students, faculty, finance, exams, and courses. Users can also simplify their enrollment procedures for hassle-free enrollment. With OpenEduCat, you can onboard multiple learning institutions for streamlined information exchange among various institutes. This also allows you to split the bill among fellow institutions and save a great sum of money.

Decebo lets you track the training requirement and performance of your workforce.

Examples of TMS Software

1. PeopleAdmin

PeopleAdmin is a talent management and performance appraisal software designed for use by colleges and universities and government institutions. It provides tools to assist you throughout the lifecycle process – from recruiting and hiring, onboarding and managing, to developing and retaining talent. With the software, you’ll be able to find the best instructors, staff, and administrators for all departments, and provide the best education and service that your institution aims to offer to attract more students.

PeopleAdmin allows for efficient recruiting and hiring of college and universities instructors by providing a job site you can personalize to show visually what applicants can expect when they join your institution. It integrates with social media platforms and various online job boards to widen the reach for the search of the best talents.

Resumes are parsed from these websites so recruiting managers have immediate access to important candidate information. It also offers analytics module to enable recruiters to make informed and strategic decisions for effective talent management. The software is available on a quote basis.

2. iCIMS Talent Acquisition

iCIMS Talent Acquisition is an onboarding platform currently used by around 3,200 international businesses and organizations. It comes with a rich set of features designed to accelerate and simplify the talent acquisition process without sacrificing the quality and qualifications of candidates.

It offers a customizable career portal that enables candidates to look for career opportunities while helping recruiters make quality hires, improve hiring processes, engage the right candidates, and follow key metrics all within one powerful application.

Some of the notable features of iCIMS Talent Acquisition include social media distribution, career site search engine optimization (SEO), job board posting, assessment and background screening, interview management, candidate management, and onboarding, to mention some.

With the software, HR professionals and recruiters are given the means to reach and attract more qualified candidates not only from the most popular social media sites, but also from more than 300 other social media outlets, job boards and marketplaces, and job specialty sites. The software is offered through custom pricing.

iCIMS Talent Acquisition streamlines the talent acquisition and management process.

3. ClearCompany

ClearCompany is a popular talent management and HR solution that specializes in handling all stages of the employee lifecycle. It provides a number of onboarding features to improve employee experience, align employee goals to the goals of the organization and its departments, and efficiently monitor and grade employee performance. The end-to-end onboarding suite comes with automated collection, online tracking and delivery of hire forms, making it possible for the system to eliminate redundant data and mismatching candidates.

The software leverages the goals, roles, and competences of each organization, and powers up the hiring, tracking, onboarding, and performance management of each team. It is able to automate hiring, onboarding, and performance management processes based on assigned goals, missions, and responsibilities to each job role. This gives you a clear picture of each hire’s alignment and contribution to your goals. ClearCompany is available through quote-based pricing.


All the above that we’ve itemized makes up the answers to our title query – what is the difference between learning management system vs. talent management system? Despite the distinctions, LMS and TMS are best viewed not by their differences but by the complementary functions they bring to the table. You can sign up for TalentLMS free trial here for a firsthand experience.

Although you can make one work without the other, you are in a better position to have one work with the other on account that together can they both cover end-to-end the employee lifecycle from recruitment, onboarding, training and development, performance assessment, and compensation management as well as specific learning and education requirements of your organization’s workforce. A highly developed, skilled, educated and engaged workforce is one of the most important factors behind a successful organization and both LMS and TMS can help you achieve that.

Astrid Eira

By Astrid Eira

Astrid Eira is a resident B2B expert of FinancesOnline, focusing on the SaaS niche. She specializes in accounting and human resource management software, writing honest and straightforward reviews of some of the most popular systems around. Being a small business owner herself, Astrid uses her expertise to help educate business owners and entrepreneurs on how new technology can help them run their operations. She's an avid fan of the outdoors, where you'll find her when she's not crunching numbers or testing out new software.

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