The Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum’s 2007 Performance and Talent Management Trend Survey was recently released. It polled more than 725 (primarily North American) HR and performance professionals, executives and talent management experts. The basic summary: everyone, everywhere is doing pretty badly on the issue of talent management.
For example, the report highlights some interesting behaviours. Although top execs SAY that talent management is critical, only half of the respondents to the survey have formal plans to identify, grow and retain talent. Despite the need for better talent development, acquisition strategies and talent management processes, the survey found that two thirds of organisations do not have talent scorecards in place. And although effective talent optimisation relies on the ability to measure success, nearly two thirds of respondents to the survey do not know how – or even if – they measure staff performance and productivity.
The situation for small businesses is even worse. More than 80% of small businesses do not have any kind of talent management scorecard. And, 60% of small businesses do not have formal plans to grow and retain talent.

Key findings of the report:

  • Increasing competition for talent is universal.
    98 percent of respondents say competition for talent is increasing in their industry, and 65 percent say it’s increasing to a “high” or “very high” degree.
  • Talent costs this year are inflated.
    Nearly 95 percent say the cost of acquiring and keeping talent rose in 2006, and two thirds say to a somewhat or high degree. One executive interviewed pegged this cost increase at 25 percent this year.
  • Time to talent is growing, as are requirements for developing it in-house.
    55 percent note higher salaries were required in their organization in 2006. And 68 percent identified the need to implement internal talent development in their companies.
  • Talent management leaders are achieving significant benefits in a short period of time.
    Companies that have adopted advanced solutions for improving performance and talent management have done so in as little as a month, and are reaping the benefits in the form of dramatically reduced turnover, improved goal alignment, and better engaged and peforming employees.
  • Most companies, though, are way behind and playing talent management catch-up.
    Though internal talent development is seen as a critical step, only slightly over half have formal plans in place to identify, grow and retain talent. Only about a quarter have formal talent scorecards, and only 29 percent can link talent performance to business value creation.
  • Small business is behind the times.
    More than 80 percent of smaller companies lack any kind of talent management scorecard, and 60 percent lack formal plans to grow and retain talent.
  • Shock is heard round the world.
    Organizations point to an increasing influence of globalization and easing of business boundaries as having a profound effect on talent consideration. 77 percent of all survey participants say that global factors.

For a more detailed summary of the report, see the Success Factor website, or right click and save as here to download a PDF summary (the PDF includes some success case studies not on the website).
The survey summarises: “These figures paint a frightening picture of companies ill-prepared to manage a more complex talent market…. Most organisations are terribly unsophisticated in managing and measuring talent against business needs…. Even the most sophisticated organisations are just scratching the surface in the quest to optimise their workforces.”
Interestingly, the survey found that a new set of drivers replaced the traditional need for acquiring new talent. Company growth (50%), evolving cultures (40%) and changing market demands (33%) topped the list. Things like employee retirement (24%), less loyal, more change-orientated employees (19.6%) and poor employee performance (17%) were much less prominent. Although it should be noted that these are the reported perceptions of management pain, rather than the objective analysis of the researchers.

Survey participants ranked the following, as the top talent management hurdles for 2007:

Talent development 63.3%
Talent retention and turnover 60%
Talent acquisition 49.4%
Employee engagement 41.2%
Performance evaluation 27.7%
Morale 21.7%
Compensation 19.6%
Productivity 17.5%

Identifying/integrating talent as a result of a merger


It seems to me that senior management and execs need to put more of their money where their mouths are.

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