matrixAccording The Hackett Group’s report, Cracks in the Foundation: Closing the Critical Skills Gap Undermining Business Capabilities, business leaders are only satisfied with the talent support they receive from HR only about one-third of the time.

Respondents included around 150 large companies and reported to being either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with HR business services support almost 70 percent of the time, on average. The least satisfaction in support was found for collaboration and knowledge sharing (79 percent dissatisfied or very dissatisfied) and retention support (70 satisfied or dissatisfied).

The key areas of talent management focused on for the study included: workforce planning and succession: collaboration and knowledge sharing; retention; managing performance; learning and development; and recruiting/staffing.

“At most companies, business services functions [like Finance, IT and procurement] were badly weakened by across-the-board cuts during the recent recession,” Hackett Group spokesman Harry Osle said. “[This is] in large part, because HR and business services leaders are not collaborating,” said Osle. “This is a dangerous situation with the potential to cripple companies that don’t address it quickly.”

But the study acknowledges that many organizations aren’t very good with communicating specific talent needs with HR. The report also showed that all of the HR-specific budget and staffing cuts made during the recent were still in force at many companies. That fact affects talent management programs, training, retention initiatives, and employee development.

“Today’s changing business environment requires that business services organizations retool and radically change their mix of staff to improve their ability to directly impact on business performance,” said Hackett chief research officer, Michael Janssen. “Business services managers must take the lead in specifying their needs, and taking accountability for results for talent management. HR must provide comprehensive process and administrative support, methods and tools, training and guidance to function leaders.”

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