Talent management is being neglected

Posted on 28 Sep 2011 by The Manufacturer

A survey of 551 senior managers in the life sciences industry has revealed that over three quarters of the respondents are not managing their talent effectively.

Commissioned by recruitment firm RSA, the survey revealed that although 90% of respondents to the survey said that talent management is crucial to their operations, 77% are not doing so.

According to RSA, companies are neglecting talent management as a result as a squeeze on budgets and the continuing impact of market change. Reducing workforce numbers has been cited as one major factor (78%), while 66% of respondents to the survey have seen reviews or restructures at their companies in the last 18 months.

Comparing results from the same survey carried out last year, this year more companies admitted that they use no formal talent assessment exercises to identify which employees will face redundancy (79% compared to 62% last year).

The relationship between HR and the business side of companies seems to be improving, however. RSA’s survey found that whereas last year only 24% of executives felt that their HR departments had a clear understanding of the skills the organisation needs in five years time, this year the percentage rose to 40%. The majority of managers (69%) also believed that HR would play a key role in redefining long-term resourcing needs.

Respondents also said that they were more likely to “buy in” talent, rather than develop existing employees. Senior positions are being filled quicker this year – in 2010, it took six months or longer to fill senior vacancies in 71% of cases, and this had plummeted to 11.5% in 2011, with 41% now in place in less than three months.

Nick Stephens, CEO of RSA commented: “The continuing pressures of the recession and major market change are forcing businesses and their HR departments to focus on short-term fixes, rather than long-term strategy.”

He added: “The situation has actually worsened since 2010, with a widening gap between actual and best practice when it comes to managing and developing staff.”

George Archer