Companies embrace talent management to support business
As the economy turns around, companies are looking to retain and
attract top talent to drive innovation, and theyre renewing their
focus on talent management programs to support these efforts,
according to a new global study on rewards and benefits.
The Towers Watson Global Talent Management and Rewards survey,
which included results from 1,176 global companies, including 314
from the United States, showed that most respondents reported that
cuts made during the recession hurt their ability to not only
engage employees, but
also to recruit top talent. As a result, companies are
re-evaluating their talent management efforts, says Jackie Greaner,
North America practice leader for talent management and
organizational alignment at Towers Watson.
What we are finding is that companies are primarily focused on
growth and the development of innovative products and services.
Theyre shifting away from competing on image and reputation, says
Companies are looking for top talent to drive that innovation, she
says. According to the survey, talent management priorities include
ensuring the readiness of talent for critical roles (62 percent);
increasing the investment in building an internal pipeline of
talent (60 percent); and creating more movement, rotation, and
development opportunities for talent (51 percent).
Leadership development is also a priority, notes Greaner. The study
showed that there is also an increased emphasis on developing
leaders with critical competencies of results orientation,
strategic visioning, and change leadership, she notes.
The specific talent management priorities that companies plan to
focus on include leadership development programs (77 percent);
career pathing and planning (75 percent); coaching and mentoring
(68 percent); performance management (66 percent); leadership
assessment (65 percent); and employee learning and development (61
Greaner notes that although, in general, companies did not have a
difficult time retaining employees during the downturn, the story
was different when it came to attracting and retaining top talent
or critical skill employees. According to the study, 15 percent had
problems attracting all employees, but 60 percent had trouble
attracting top talent. As for retention, 11 percent had problems
retaining all employees, whereas 30 percent had problems retaining
critical-skill employees. Thus, companies are also putting more of
an emphasis on career development, succession planning, and
leadership competencies, according to the survey.
As the economy continues to improve, it will be critical to
differentiate between employees and to ensure rewards and
development programs are effective, notes Greaner. There will also
be the critical need to develop competencies so that leaders can
manage in the new environment, she adds.