Response to the Bersin by Deloitte report

“Top talent management without core HR systems is like building a skyscraper on sand,” warns Adam Hale

As Josh Bersin says, in the recent Bersin by Deloitte report, “Attracting top talent has become a serious competitive issue that demands attention at the highest levels of the organization.”

The findings of the recent Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report show that the majority of global organizations are not prepared for those trends reshaping the workforce. According to the report, the single biggest challenge cited by most respondents (86%) is leadership development, followed by retention and engagement (79%), and “reskilling” the human resources function (77%). These are critical priorities in an economic landscape, where companies need to build for boom and not recession.

Our experience of talking to mid-size enterprises correlates this view; some organizations are just not ready to implement the analytics or more advanced leadership development initiatives that are available to them. Worse than that, is that basic, core HR bricks and mortar are not even in place, which means that teams have to spend their time on manual data inputting, and not on strategic areas. Their HR tools are domestic, poorly integrated, manually intensive and act as a barrier to growth, when the trend of organisations and the way people work is going in the opposite direction – towards globalization, engagement, and working in the cloud.

One example that we found to demonstrate this further is that only around 20% of organizations have enabled ‘employee self-service’, which means that people can update their own details. When you consider how simple it is for people to change their personal details in most areas of online life today, this is indicative of how far away areas like talent analytics and advanced workforce planning are in many companies.

To allow organizations to grow with this trend, with talent management towering as an objective, the foundation blocks of core systems and processes need to be put in place. Otherwise it’s a bit like for trying to build a skyscraper on sand. The results of that would be wobbly, at best.

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