Talent strategies lack focus: survey

Some Canadian organizations are struggling to align their talent strategies with their business objectives, says a new survey by Right Management, the talent and career management arm of ManpowerGroup.

Of the 94 companies surveyed, 43% says they struggle with such alignment, with as many as 18% reporting that there is no alignment with business objectives.

“A true talent management strategy encompasses a wide range of HR policies and processes,” says Bram Lowsky, group senior vice-president Americas at Right Management. “These would include recruitment, assessment, training & development, retention and leadership programs.

“Aspects may vary from company to company, but ideally the key elements are closely aligned with the organization’s overall business objectives. The survey suggests most organizations want to move in this direction but have yet to do so with any confidence.”

Roadblocks to success

One difficulty complicating efforts, says Lowsky, is that the talent management strategy may not be explicit enough. “Indeed, respondents identified a lack of clear definition as their talent management strategy’s chief shortcoming. Obviously this is where organizations ought to begin. This can only be driven by a well formed and clearly articulated business case for the strategy, along with a practical communication plan to keep all parties informed.”

The other major challenges identified by the respondents are: that the impact the strategy has on the organization is hard to measure, it isn’t communicated throughout the organization and it’s not readily actionable.

According to Lowsky, the finding underlines the fact that organizations need to develop and articulate a clear strategy. “Additionally, this finding indicates that actionable strategies and appropriate metrics for progress against the strategy execution are also missing, which are both key to making any real progress.”

Read the results of the survey here.