Realigning the HR Function to Manage Talent

McKinsey surveys show that business leaders around the world have become deeply concerned about the intensifying competition for talent. Few companies, however, make it an integral part of a long-term business strategy, and many even try to raise short-term earnings by cutting talent-development expenditures. Other factors compound the recruitment difficulties: minimal collaboration and talent sharing among business units, ineffective line management, and confusion about HR’s role, not to mention challenges such as Generation Y employees seeking greater work/life balance, expansion into global markets, and the specific needs of the fast-growing category of knowledge workers.

According to the study, line managers believe HR lacks the capabilities to develop talent strategies and is not held accountable for the success or failure of talent-management initiatives. The research reveals another issue: the declining influence of the human-resources function. Only HR, though, can translate a company’s business strategy into a detailed talent strategy.

HR professionals should assert their influence and provide credible and proactive business counsel and support for individual business units.  McKinsey surveys show that business leaders around the world have become deeply concerned about the intensifying competition for talent. Few companies, however, make it an integral part of a long-term business strategy, and many even try to raise short-term earnings by cutting talent-development expenditures. Other factors compound the recruitment difficulties: minimal collaboration and talent sharing among business units, ineffective line management, and confusion about HR’s role, not to mention challenges such as Generation Y employees seeking greater work/life balance, expansion into global markets, and the specific needs of the fast-growing category of knowledge workers.

According to the study, line managers believe HR lacks the capabilities to develop talent strategies and is not held accountable for the success or failure of talent-management initiatives. The research reveals another issue: the declining influence of the human-resources function. Only HR, though, can translate a company’s business strategy into a detailed talent strategy.

HR professionals should assert their influence and provide credible and proactive business counsel and support for individual business units. 

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