Firms Looking to Improve Talent and Performance Management Technology

June 13, 2011 ( - According to an annual survey conducted by Towers Watson, many HR departments say talent and performance management technology systems will be one of their most critical service delivery issues in 2011.

The fourteenth annual survey on HR service delivery trends and practices also found that companies are planning to increase their spending on HR technology this year as they look for new ways to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

According to a press release, among their top three HR service delivery issues for 2011:

  • 41% of the 444 companies surveyed indicated talent/performance systems;
  • 27% listed streamlining HR processes and systems; and
  • 25% cited greater involvement in strategic business-driven issues.

The survey also found that companies are making greater investments in HR technology. More than one-third of respondents (34%) said they are planning to spend more on HR technology this year, with one in eight expecting that increase to exceed 20% over last year. Only 16% plan to reduce their spending on HR technology.

The top HR initiatives that respondents are currently undertaking or planning for this year include:

  • re-engineering key HR processes – 62%;
  • refocusing the role of their HR business partners – 43%; and
  • implementing or leveraging self-service technologies – 37%.

Those respondents that have recently completed these initiatives are reporting tremendous success, including 84% that say process re-engineering met or exceeded expectations, and 81% that say their recent self-service initiatives have delivered on or exceeded their expectations.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • HR organizations are using Web 2.0 tools most frequently for recruiting (43%), HR communication (38%) and training (25%);
  • 77% reported either having or working on implementing a global data warehouse to consolidate information fed from separate systems; and
  • 79% of U.S. respondents have manager and/or employee self-service (MSS/ESS) in place.

“As the economy continues to improve, the need for robust talent and performance management programs and enabling technologies has never been greater,” said Tom Keebler, global leader of Towers Watson’s HR Service Delivery and Technology practices, in the press release. “Companies view talent and performance management technologies as a critical component of their workforce attraction and retention initiatives, and also as a way to enhance HR’s role in helping the business to meet its strategic goals.”


-Sara Kelly