Top 10 Talent Trends That HR Pros Really Need to Know

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Editor’s Note: It’s a TLNT holiday tradition to count down the most popular posts of the past year. This is No. 38. Our regular content will return on Jan 5, 2014. Happy Boxing Day

CEB data show 10 trends that HR professionals should be aware of and four things to look out for in the next 12 months

Despite 73 percent of HR professionals viewing HR as a “strategic” function – that is, one that contributes to strategic business goals rather than a more humble ambition to “keep the business running” – only 52 percent have the talent data to prove HR’s value to the organization, or the data needed to inform business decisions.

As CEB research shows again, talent is (or should be) at the heart of every major business decision that senior managers make. This makes it imperative that HR professionals have the data and information to support line managers, and also the confidence that their work will, and should, shape the direction their company takes.

Top 10 talent trends

The Global Assessment Trends Report draws data from over 1,400 HR professionals worldwide to understand the most important HR trends, and how they measure their employees’ capabilities and potential.

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The report notes 10 trends that HR organizations should be aware of:

  1. That 82 percent  of HR professionals think it is important to receive a positive candidate reaction to their hiring process.
  2. But, only 40 percent of HR professionals actually monitor candidate reactions.
  3. Using social media to source new employees is seen as a credible and importanthiring tool for the future but only 25 percent of organizations have formal policies on its use.
  4. Nearly twice as many organizations use objective assessments to measure talentbefore they are hired, compared with ongoing assessment of their talent following the hiring process.
  5. Some 57 percent of HR teams focus more on developing talent internally than on external hiring.
  6. Identifying high-potential (HiPo) talent is a new global top priority.
  7. The most common use assessments in the future will be within HiPo programs.
  8. More than half (56 percent) of HR professionals say employee engagement and retention are top priorities for the next 12 months.
  9. Some 42 percent of HR professionals say they would allow candidates to complete assessments on mobile devices.
  10. Only 34 percent of HR teams integrate assessments into their HR information systems as part of the external hiring process.

Four things to watch in the next 12 months

Based on the report’s findings there are also four larger trends that HR professionals should keep an eye on in the next 12 months.

  • Talent dashboards are important but tough to get right. Ultimately, organizations should be able to demonstrate the same degree of control over, and return on investment, from HR and talent investments that they routinely expect from their finance departments. Creating and using talent dashboards is an important step in doing so but they require rich data sets, and robust measurement tools.
  • Remember, candidates can be customers too. Measuring candidate satisfaction – of both failed and successful candidates – should be an integral part of the recruitment and hiring process. Candidates, their friends, family, and colleagues may always be future customers or future candidates themselves.
  • Talent measurement usage and budget allocation should be aligned with HR priorities. Although organizations increasingly emphasize the development and retention of internal talent, this is not necessarily where they allocate budget or focus their talent measurement.
  • Social media is not a panacea. Although there is growing interest in social media for sourcing and assessing candidates, and in mobile-enabled assessment, their use is often inconsistent, or not relevant to the task at hand. Firms should ensure the use of such technology is relevant, fair and legally defensible.

Jean Martin is the talent solutions architect at CEB, a best practice insight and technology company. Her areas of expertise span the HR spectrum, including leadership, the future of the HR function, workforce diversity and labor market trends. Contact her at MartinJ@cebglobal.com.

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