Employers Approaching 'Talent War' as Short-Term Issue

March 13, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new global survey of human resources executives finds that while 82% identify a "war for talent" as a key issue over the next decade, most are primarily focusing on the issue in the shorter term.

A more critical fight for some is the ability to exert influence at the highest level of their organizations. While 98% of HR leaders surveyed consider themselves part of senior management, 42% believe that they have less influence than other members of that team. Approximately 40% of European HR leaders believe they have the same level of influence as other members of the senior team, compared to 25% in North America.

“Softer” Sides

The survey also found that softer HR issues are lower on the scale than staff recruiting and retention. Only 6% of HR executives consider work/life balance a priority and 4% see developing cross-cultural awareness as leading the HR agenda despite the challenges posed by operating in a global economy.

As for their recruiting focus, a news release from consultant Resources Global Professionals said the poll of HR executives in eight countries found:

  • 90% are planning to hire external resources,
  • 60% are looking to take advantage of offshore talent; and
  • 59% plan to increase productivity without recruiting.

“Global corporations see the recruitment and retention of high-quality talent as an issue that transcends fluctuations in the global economy,” saidChris Hagler, the Atlanta-based managing director of Global Strategic Services at Resources, in the news announcement. “This is driven by social factors, such as the dramatic decline in employee loyalty, aging populations, the ‘one child per family’ policy in China and different career expectations from younger generations.”

Cost, Simplification Focus

In its report, Resources found that reducing administrative costs and simplifying processes are high priorities for companies, but the preferred route is through the creation of shared services centersratherthan outsourcing.

Companies have created centralized processes for the following functions, the survey found:

  • Administration of benefits (93%),
  • Compensation (92%),
  • Performance management (86%),
  • Development and mobility (80%),
  • Payroll and training (74%),
  • Recruitment (68%), and
  • Employee relations (61%).

The announcement said levels of outsourcing are much lower:

  • Training, 54%
  • Payroll, 49%
  • Recruitment, 40%
  • Benefits administration, 43%

For copies of the report, contact Katrina.straub@resources-us.com or call 213.689.2900.