Prepare to be outraged: New research says business leaders are “highly dissatisfied with the level of support they receive from HR on talent issues” — and that’s led to an alarming shortage of skilled employees.
According to The Hackett Group’s report, Cracks in the Foundation: Closing the Critical Skills Gap Undermining Business Capabilities, execs at about 150 large companies feel they’re getting talent management support from HR less than 35% percent of the time.
Companies study said they were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with HR performance in terms of support for business services nearly 70% of the time, on average. Companies were most unhappy with HR support for collaboration and knowledge sharing (79% dissatisfied/very dissatisfied) and retention (70% dissatisfied/very dissatisfied).
Where’s the collaboration?
The study looked at six key areas of talent management: workforce planning and succession; collaboration/knowledge sharing; retention; managing performance; learning and development; and recruiting and staffing.
“At most companies, business services functions [like Finance, IT and procurement] were badly weakened by across-the-board cuts during the recent recession,” Hackett Group spokesman Harry Osle said in a press release.
And why are companies having such a hard time dealing with the challenge of finding and keeping top talent? “In large part, because HR and business services leaders are not collaborating,” said Osle. “This is a dangerous situation with the potential to cripple companies that don’t address it quickly.”
Lack of communication
OK, now we’re getting to the heart of the problem. The study acknowledges that in many organizations, HR doesn’t “have a dedicated business partner role responsible for communicating and understanding the talent management needs of business services functions like finance, IT and others.”
In other words, these departments aren’t letting HR in on what their talent needs and goals are.
Another huge factor affecting HR’s effectiveness: At many companies, HR budget and staff cuts made during the recent recession remain in effect, impacting talent management programs as well as training, career development, and retention initiatives, the report said.
So what does Hackett suggest to improve the situation? “Today’s changing business environment requires that business services organizations retool and radically change their mix of staff to improve their ability to directly impact on business performance,” said Hackett chief research officer, Michael Janssen.
“Business services managers must take the lead in specifying their needs, and taking accountability for results for talent management. HR must provide comprehensive process and administrative support, methods and tools, training and guidance to function leaders.”
In other words, managers and HR need to function as a team. What a concept.
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