Talent Management Systems Taking on "Must Have" Status for Human Resources Professionals in the Post-Recession Era
Annual Towers Watson HR Service Delivery Study affirms talent management as a top HR priority
NEW YORK, Jun 28, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Though workforces may be leaner following the recession, HR professionals across the U.S. and Canada are supporting the drive for peak employee performance by expanding their commitment to talent management and the technologies that support it. According to the13th annual survey by global professional services company Towers Watson (TW38.35, -0.25, -0.65%)on HR service delivery trends and practices, HR departments are more confident than ever in the value and efficiencies made possible through enhanced talent management systems. In fact, 42% of the more than 450 companies polled listed "talent/performance systems" as one of their top three HR service delivery issues for 2010. This was not only the most frequently selected issue among respondents, but it was also ranked as the top issue by the largest margin ever in the survey's history.
"Talent management technologies have unquestionably become one of the best ways for companies and HR departments to drive better employee performance and enterprise success following the recession," said Tom Keebler, Global Practice Leader with Towers Watson's HR Service Delivery and Technology practice. "In spite of the initial costs, organizations are increasingly deploying new or enhanced systems, recognizing that efficient and effective HR processes enable the flexibility and agility employers need in an uncertain but growth-oriented business environment."
The most critical HR service delivery issues respondents face in 2010 include:
-- Talent/performance management systems (42% versus 35% in 2009)
-- Streamlining processes/systems (35% versus 35% in 2009, unchanged)
-- Increased involvement in strategic business-driven issues (27% versus 23% in 2009)
-- Defining human capital metrics and dashboards (22% versus 17% in 2009)
-- Recruiting/staffing services/systems (21% versus 12% in 2009)
A Business Case for Talent Management Technologies
Interestingly, "cost" has fallen off the list of top HR service delivery issues just one year after it was listed as one of the top three most pressing challenges among those polled. In addition, HR professionals report their technology budgets were not severely affected by the recession's many funding cuts. In 2009, only 36% of respondents reported a decreased budget for HR technology. For 2010, respondents report even more bullish outlooks, with fully 83% increasing or maintaining their technology budgets year over year (54% and 29%, respectively).
"HR's reliance on technology to achieve greater efficiency and cost savings during the recession allowed it to maintain and even grow HR technology budgets in a challenging business environment," said Keebler. "As companies recover and budgets expand once again, leaders appear ready to make a forward-looking commitment to talent management systems that will reap substantial long-term rewards for the HR department, line managers and the broader organization."
"In this environment, talent management technology has become a 'must have' competitive element, allowing managers and HR professionals to identify and develop talent through a more rigorous focus on performance and human capital metrics," said Keebler.
"In our experience, companies are able to achieve greater satisfaction with the effectiveness and efficiency of their talent management systems when planned for holistically," Keebler continued. "HR leaders who determine their integrated needs and clearly articulate their business strategy before making buying and implementation decisions are better equipped to differentiate among various options, make informed selections and align the HR function's needs with business objectives."
Engaging Employees Through Self-Service
As greater numbers of organizations roll out talent management programs and technologies, manager self-service (MSS) and employee self-service (ESS) features are becoming more common in the workplace.
While ESS and MSS result in faster, more accurate transactions for more than 70% of organizations, they may also factor into greater engagement and employee satisfaction among the workforce.
"Past Towers Watson research, including the 2010 Global Workforce Study, has shown employees' and managers' desire for on-the-job empowerment," said Keebler. "By implementing self-service options for critical career and rewards categories, organizations are simultaneously creating an environment of ownership and self-reliance that employees can build upon."
These features are also more efficient for the HR function, reducing work in almost every instance. In total, 68% of HR generalist/specialists and HR service centers/administrators report that ESS programs have resulted in less work, while fewer than 15% report an increase.
About the Survey
The13th annual HR Service Delivery Survey polled HR and HRIT executives from 456 organizations for their insight on topics and trends impacting the year ahead. Fifty-one percent consider themselves multinational/global companies. Sixty-four percent of respondents have more than 5,000 employees.
About Towers Watson
Towers Watson (TW38.35, -0.25, -0.65%) is a leading global professional services company that helps organizations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management. The company offers solutions in the areas of employee benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management. Towers Watson has 14,000 associates around the world and is located on the web atwww.towerswatson.com.