i4cp Study Shows HR Pros Sing a Familiar Refrain: Where’s the Talent?

SEATTLE, WA (April 17, 2008) – According to HR executives, the hunt for workforce talent is gaining in significance. In a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), HR professionals said that, while employers are increasingly driven to find and keep the best employees, the pool of high-performing talent is shallower than ever.

The i4cp study looked at not only the organizational challenges that HR professionals are dealing with but also what these professionals must do to develop their own skills. The study found that the HR agenda in 2008 has a heavy focus on talent – retaining, engaging, recruiting and developing high-potential employees across all areas of an organization. Seventy-two percent of companies ranked retaining talent as their fastest-growing issue throughout 2008, while 70% tabbed engaging top talent and 64% said recruiting talented employees is growing in importance.

And when it comes to seeing their agendas through, time is not on HR’s side either, the study suggests. When asked about the main barriers facing HR in 2008, 44% of the 355 responding companies rated lack of time as having a high or very high impact on HR’s ability to achieve its goals.

“HR professionals are singing a familiar refrain,” said Donna J. Bear, senior research analyst at i4cp. “They’re citing not enough time, talent or money and too many conflicting priorities as top impediments to accomplishing their employers’ goals.”

Besides not having enough time, nearly four in 10 respondents cited “conflicting organizational priorities,” “scarcity of workforce talent” and “financial resources” as having a high or very high impact on achieving their goal of filling their employers’ ranks with high-potential workers.

The dearth of talent also was cited when companies were asked which factors would have the biggest effect on their upcoming agenda, with 75% of respondents rating the availability of talent as having either a high or very high influence. Other factors included concern over the state of the economy, with 50% of responding companies saying the overall economic picture has a high or very high influence, and concern about the competitive landscape, with 51% of companies rating competition as having a high or very high influence.

Regarding their own ongoing development, HR professionals recognize the need to develop competencies that are both broad and high-level. The study’s respondents ranked leadership first among all the competencies needing further development, with 55% of all organizations ranking it as high or very high in importance. Also, 50% of organizations ranked change management as a high or very high priority, and innovative thinking is also a competency that HR professionals must develop, according to the 47% of respondents who said it ranked high or very high in importance.

The Evolving HR Profession “Taking the Pulse” Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in February 2008.

About i4cp, inc.

i4cp is the world’s largest private network of corporations focused on improving workforce productivity. Our vendor-free community facilitates innovation by giving our members – among the largest and most respected organizations in the world – access to:
  1. Peers to spark new ideas and prevent “reinventing the wheel”

  2. Research to enable members to understand current practices and next practices
  3. Tools to put ideas and research into action
  4. Technology to enable members to easily access tailored information and execute workforce strategies.

With more than 40 years of experience and the industry’s largest team of human capital analysts, i4cp is the definitive destination for organizations seeking innovative ways to improve workforce productivity. More at www.i4cp.com.
Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.