Employers Eye Talent Management As Downturn Eases

June 15, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – As more and more employers shift gears out of recession mode into a period of growth, they are changing their personnel policies as they anticipate keener competition for key talent.

A Mercer survey of more than 400 employers in May found their anticipated changes will focus on: leadership training (88%), workforce training (85%), employee engagement (85%), recruiting (80%), retention (80%), rewards (76%), and performance management (76%) programs.

More than two-thirds (68%) are planning to make changes to their career programs and 51% are planning to make changes to mobility programs, the survey found.

Virtually all employers (97%) anticipate an increase in competition over the next three to five years for the key talent their organizations need to succeed; 39% expect some increase in competition, while far more (58%) expect a significant increase in competition.

Meanwhile, more than half of employers surveyed indicate their organization has emerged from the recession and is in growth mode (15%) or is emerging from the recession and preparing for growth (37%) while another 22% said they were never out of growth mode, as their organization was not significantly affected by the economic downturn. One-quarter (25%) said they are still in recession mode.

“The downturn forced organizations to make fairly dramatic changes to their workforces and talent programs. Now organizations are planning further changes, but the aim is not to revert to what they had before the downturn,” said Jason Jeffay, a partner in Mercer’s human capital business and global leader of the firm’s talent management consulting, in a news release “It’s a different business environment now. We’re looking ahead to a period of positive but slower growth, which translates into different talent needs. Talent programs need to be reviewed and tailored to fit this new reality.”

Only 5% of respondents believe their organizations are very effective in measuring the impact of talent decisions and investments. Slightly more than half (54%) said their organizations are somewhat effective and 41% said their organizations are not at all effective with respect to measurement.

More information about Mercer is at www.mercer.com.