The results are in from the recent Talent Management Magazine “State of the Industry 2009” survey. While the report indicates significant challenges in 2009, further analysis reveals continued opportunity for learning and development as a critical component to organizational success.
The report, released last week by Talent Management magazine and HumanCapitalMedia.com, included analysis of responses from Talent Management readers from a wide cross section of organizational sizes and industries. (Chief Learning Officer, Talent Management and HumanCapitalMedia.com are all owned and operated by parent company MediaTec Publishing Inc.)
Launched in December 2008, the survey received a total of 805 responses during the three-week survey period. Survey questions focused on several key areas, including how organizations define talent management; talent management integration and automation; workforce analytics; key challenges; collaboration, planning and investment; and importance vs. satisfaction comparison by functional area.
In looking at the broad talent spectrum, from recruiting to compensation to performance management and succession planning, survey respondents indicated that training and performance support is widely implemented as part of the talent ecosystem. Seventy-four percent of survey respondents indicated that training is a core component of their organizations’ talent management strategies.
Given the economic downturn, many organizations are carefully scrutinizing budgets to minimize risk and control cost. The implications for talent management are not surprising. According to the survey, 27 percent of enterprises are planning to decrease or significantly decrease human resources spending this year.
While that overall investment is expected to fall, there is a bright spot for learning departments. A majority of survey respondents indicated that they expect training and performance management investment will stay steady or actually increase this year. The study indicated that 23 percent of organizations expect to increase or significantly increase their investment in training this year, and 40 percent expect spending to remain the same as last year. In performance management, 21 percent expect increased investment, and 50 percent indicated it will remain the same as 2008.
This finding indicates that the majority of survey respondents’ organizations are turning their attention to their internal talent pools, and learning and development plays a critical role in engaging, retaining and retooling this workforce during the current economic storm.
That increased focus on the internal talent pool raises the profile of talent development within the organizations, but it also comes with increased scrutiny. Survey responses supported this conclusion. The most common challenge facing organizations is developing talent, mentioned by 63 percent of organizations, indicating that the organization’s executive mindset is shifting from a “buy” talent to a “build” talent mode.
As stated by one respondent, “We believe the economic situation is a short-term challenge. Ensuring a trained and qualified workforce, including leadership, is a longer term challenge. This is not the time to quit investing in our people.”