Investing in talent not paying off: Mercer Survey

talent-crunchIn today’s global economy, talent is a primary source of competitive advantage. Yet many leaders still cite the lack of adequate talent pipelines among their most critical business challenges. This disconnect led Mercer to conduct the Talent Barometer Survey to study the talent practices of leading organizations globally.

Even as organisations step up their investment in human capital, many of them are questioning whether it is paying off. According to Mercer’s new Talent Barometer Survey, while 60% of organisations worldwide report increasing their investment in talent in recent years, only 24%, say their plans are highly effective in meeting immediate and long-term human capital needs.

Moreover, 77% of those surveyed by Mercer have a strategic workforce plan in place. But when asked whether it is part of their longer-term strategy, only 12% said they had plans that extended for five years or more.

“Effective workforce planning is an essential part of positioning talent as a strategic asset and maintaining a competitive business advantage,” said Julio A. Portalatin, president and CEO of Mercer in a release. “With the information and data analytics available today, employers can measure and manage their talent like never before. The question is whether the increased attention and efforts deliver the intended results. Outperformance requires a blend of innovative solutions and a fact-based approach to managing talent.”

Mercer’s Talent Barometer Survey, which assesses the effectiveness of workforce practices in driving the short- and long-term success of organisations’ talent plans by region and industry, includes responses from HR and talent management executives at more than 1,260 organisations around the globe.

Mercer’s Talent Barometer research also explores key accelerators of talent effectiveness – education, health and wellness, and career experience – and their impact on successful workforce practices.

Significantly, more than half (57%) of the organisations surveyed are not confident that educational institutions will generate the talent needed by their businesses today. The sentiment among respondents does not improve even when they are looking out as far as five years from today.

As a result of this educational gap, the survey shows organisations are employing internships, apprenticeships, and teaching high-demand skills in secondary and tertiary institutions.

As for health and wellness, Mercer’s survey finds that less than half of organisations worldwide actively apply the basic elements of a health management program, such as ensuring a healthy workplace and establishing health-related policies and procedures (as reported by 48% and 44% of organisations, respectively). Less than one-third (31%) actively use a formal, written multi-year strategic plan for health and wellness.

The Talent Barometer research also confirms that encouraging diverse career experiences and opportunities for growth which allow talent to excel is an essential part of workforce planning. According to Mercer’s survey, organisations globally take the issue of career experience seriously, with the majority (80%) conducting regular (annual or semiannual) talent reviews. However, far fewer actively employ other actions that enhance talent availability and quality, such as assessing supply and demand of critical talent, putting a strategic succession plan in place and developing programs for high-potential employees. (Source: TNN)

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