April 7, 2014

Top 4 Global Human Capital Trends 2014

Illustration Of Service Oriented Layered Architecture And Global Business In A Business HandIt goes without saying that talent management teams needs to be aware of the key industry trends, that is, if they are to make effective HR interventions and decisions which are in tune with the needs of their business and the marketplace.

Of course, there are quite a lot of “critical” talent management surveys doing the rounds at this time of year and you can’t read all of them and also do your day job, but there is one talent management that I think it is worth making time for and that is Deloitte’s 2014 Human Capital Trends survey. Why? Because of its sheer scope; that is, it surveys 2,500 business and HR executives from over 94 countries.

But, the other reason is that it asks the talent management profession to stop and take a long hard look at itself – which not many HR surveys are bold enough to do.

However, let’s hold off on the HR navel gazing at the moment to focus on by far the most prominent trend impacting talent management: a lack of leadership development, with 81 percent of their survey respondents prioritizing leadership development. They are trying to develop and attract leaders who are globally fluent, flexible, innovative and inspiring at all levels of the business. What was interesting was that only 13 percent admitted to doing an excellent job at leadership development. So, if you are doing an excellent job at leadership development, you are the privileged minority, and we’d love to hear how you are doing it.

The second trend indicates that it’s time for HR to do a little (or perhaps a lot of) soul searching, with the second biggest priority cited as crucial by 79 percent of respondents being re-skilling the HR Function. Just 8 percent of HR leaders think their own teams have the right skills and 42 percent of business leaders feel HR is under-performing and just 27 percent rate HR as excellent. You’ve probably heard this before, but its seems that HR is not listening as leaders are calling for HR to act more like a business partner and performance advisor with analytical skills to ‘underwrite’ their leadership.

Hiring will always be crucial to the talent management mix, but like several other surveys we have seen this year, retention and engagement are now holding center stage in HR, being the no. 2 priority for surveyed companies. However, the survey editors noted that there is a move away from just focusing on retention to include attracting and engaging people by, “building commitment, providing engaging work and creating a culture of growth and development.”

And last but not least, holding position four of the global HR priority list is talent acquisition, being seen as crucial by 75 percent of HR leaders. The big takeaway here is that 60 percent of the survey respondents have updated or are in the process of upgrading their talent sourcing strategy and 27 percent are considering changes. Just 13 percent are standing still and it seems that doing nothing with your talent management strategy is not an option as it will simply leave you behind the times and unable to compete effectively.

Good luck with talent management in 2014!

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Kazim Ladimeji is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practicing HR professional for 14 years. Kazim is the Director of The Career Cafe: a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers.