Talent Management a Higher Priority in Bad Economy

August 19, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Watson Wyatt's 2009 HR Technology Trends Survey found that 37% of companies have made talent management a higher priority as a result of the economic crisis, while only 15% of employers have made it a lower priority.

More than half (56%) of companies surveyed said they are planning to use more talent management technology over the next 24 months, according to a press release. Among those companies, 46% said they plan to integrate their existing technologies or leverage their current integrated systems, while 27% will start from scratch with a new integrated suite.

The survey found that about half of companies still use a manual approach for many talent management processes, including succession planning (53%), career development (48%), and workforce planning (55%). These three areas also have relatively low levels of employer satisfaction – only 20% of respondents are satisfied with the functionality of their succession planning processes, 18% with the functionality of their career development processes, and 13% with the functionality of their workforce planning processes.

“Automating and integrating these talent management processes, including compensation, would enable companies to better manage their workforce, anticipate future needs and keep employees engaged. This would not only save costs in the long run, but make businesses more agile and ensure they are better equipped to handle downturns and talent shortages in the future,” said Brian Wilkerson, global director of talent management at Watson Wyatt, in the press release.

The survey was conducted in February and March 2009 and includes responses from 181 large employers.