More Firms Emphasizing Talent Management

January 25, 2006 ( - The success and quality of talent management programs varies despite the fact that it is considered a major priority at many companies, according to a survey report.

A news release from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that three-fourths (76%) of 203 respondents in its poll said talent management is a big deal at their companies. Nine in 10 organizations with 500 or more employees ranked it a top priority, while some 69 % of medium-sized employers (100 to 499 employees) and 75% of small employers (one to 99 employees) did so, according to the September e-mail poll of SHRM members.

Talent management strategies are designed to attract, develop, retain and use employees with the necessary skills and aptitude to meet a business’ current and future needs.

“Talent management is becoming an important component of human resource management,” SHRM survey research specialist Shawn Fegley wrote in the 2006 Talent Management Survey Report.

Fegley noted in the report that talent management has evolved from “an administrative process into a continuous organizational practice” that includes:

  • succession planning,
  • leadership development,
  • retention, and
  • career planning.

More than half (53%) of 384 HR professionals surveyed said their organization has specific talent management initiatives in place. Organizations with such initiatives, the survey found, were more likely to:

  • have formal budgets for recruiting candidates and developing and retaining employees,
  • consider talent management a top priority for their organizations,
  • be large organizations with 500 or more employees; publicly or privately owned for-profit organizations; and have five or more staffers in their HR departments,
  • have HR working directly with employees or managers in talent management. More than three-fourths of those polled said this was the case,
  • have their HR people rate their organizations more highly regarding workplace culture, planning, development opportunities, professional advancement, reward management, recruitment and retention.

They also were slightly more likely to prepare junior or mid-level employees for senior leadership roles, the study found.

Not surprisingly, the survey found, HR was primarily responsible for recruitment, with development and retention falling to the employee’s supervisor. However, less than one-third (31%) of those polled said their organizations had formal budgets for retaining employees, and overall the retention budget was significantly lower than for recruiting and developing employees.

Building a deeper pool of people who could move up at every level topped a list of areas where their organizations needed to improve talent management practices, HR professionals said.