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March 2013
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TD Magazine

Integrating Talent Management Into Company Plans Proves Difficult

Is talent management a priority at your company? Half of surveyed companies in the United States say yes, but for another third, it's barely a concern.

Talent management still may be an emerging concept for non-HR professionals, says Owen Sullivan, CEO of Right Management, which surveyed 537 companies last year. HR folks are on board, but much of senior management isn't, he explains. HR professionals have trouble incorporating human capital and talent management elements in their organization's strategic plans, according to the research.

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Yet in a separate survey of global business leaders conducted by The Conference Board, human capital management is ranked the number one challenge. The Conference Board asked more than 700 senior executives to identify and rank the most pressing challenges they face and their strategies for addressing each one. Worldwide, human capital—how to best develop, engage, manage, and retain talent—is named the leading challenge. The findings appear in CEO Challenge 2013.

According to this report, CEOs seem less concerned than in previous years about external factors in the business environment. Instead, they are "focusing on people-driven strategies to counter slow market and economic growth and improve performance."

Taken together, these two studies might imply that human capital management is a pressing need, but senior execs don't always include it in their planning—at least not in the United States. Asian and European execs give the issue a number one priority ranking, and U.S. company respondents rank it number five.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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