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Thriving Workforce

The Talent Management Muddle: Five Priorities to Overcome It

Global pressure to achieve business growth is radically redefining how talent is managed, developed and incentivized. A world of tightening labor markets and a more demanding employee population calls for increased sophistication in hiring.

Ilya Bonic, President, Talent Business for Mercer 

Kate Bravery, Partner and Global Solutions Leader, Talent Business for Mercer 

Published on 16 May 2016 on BRINK  

Geopolitical headwinds, instability in Europe, slowing economies in Asia and looming job disruptions—due to automation, digitization and globalization—ensure that the future will not be a continuation of the past.

Talent remains a C-suite concern. Human resources is in the eye of the storm, amid evidence that a lack of employee development, outdated processes and discontent with the role of managers are driving high levels of workforce dissatisfaction. Future-proofed HR leadership must be a major part of the solution.

Eighty-five percent of organizations report that their talent management programs and policies need an overhaul, according to Mercer’s 2016 Global Talent Trends Study, which takes into account the perspective of employers and employees on key workplace issues and priorities, based on the perspectives of more than 1,730 HR leaders and 4,500 employees in all industries across 17 countries. The report concludes that managing these changes requires support from leadership; however, only 4 percent of HR professionals report that their role is viewed as a strategic business partner within their organizations.

The study further finds that nine out of 10 organizations anticipate that the competition for talent will increase in 2016, and more than one-third expect this increase to be significant. Despite 70 percent of organizations reporting they are confident about filling critical roles with internal candidates, 28 percent of employees say they plan to leave in the next 12 months, even though they are satisfied with their current roles.

The reasons for this discrepancy are clear enough. Employers are experiencing ever-growing competition for labor. At the same time, unemployment remains high in many countries around the world. The issue goes well beyond lack of available talent; it’s a lack of the right talent where and when it is needed to drive competitive advantage and deliver business results. For talent that has analytic skills, inspirational leadership capability and a global mindset, demand continues to exceed the supply.

The fact is that employees today have more options than ever before. They are pressing for a new value proposition that combines greater career support with flexibility to manage their work and more opportunities to develop their skills. HR professionals are challenged to meet employees’ demands and achieve a talent advantage, especially if HR leaders don’t have a seat at the table, which is crucial if they are to remain a viable part of the talent ecosystem.

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