Survey: Firms increase spending on talent but don’t see results

Now that the economy has picked up steam and businesses are starting to see a stronger flow of revenue, reinvesting in the company has become a top priority for many firms. However, while some may target technological infrastructure and product offerings as key areas for investment, human capital remains the focus for others. Creating jobs is all fine and good, but talent is what really drive success. A new survey found firms are increasing their talent spending, but not seeing the results of their investment, perhaps suggesting they can benefit from consulting with experienced recruiting agencies.

Higher spending doesn't translate to satisfying talent needs
According to a report by consulting firm Mercer, even though more organizations have upped their resources allocated to attracting talent, many have not seen the results they had hoped would come with increased spending.

In its Talent Barometer Survey, 60 percent of firms worldwide reported they had increased their spending on talent in recent years, yet just 24 percent said such strategies have resulted in companies meeting short- and long-term human capital needs.

Part of the reason firms are spending more on grooming talent is what some see as a failure by educational institutions to create sufficiently talented workers; 57 percent of those surveyed said they were not confident colleges, universities and other schools can generate the talent they need.

"This lack of qualified talent is a real concern for employers and one that requires a multi-stakeholder approach to solving," said Pat Milligan, region president at Mercer.

Most have strategic workforce strategies, but many aren't effective
Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they have strategic workforce plans in place, yet only 12 percent said such programs extended beyond five years, indicating issues concerning long-term talent strategies are still a challenge for businesses.

Survey results also noted the plans of many respondents were not effective in promoting a more strategic workplace to foster talent, particularly in regard to employee health and wellness. Forty-eight percent said they ensured a healthy workplace, while only 44 percent had health-related policies for improving employee wellness, this despite Dave Rahill, president of Mercer Health & Benefits, stating there is an undeniable link between health and worker productivity.

"The research suggests a strong link between employers' focus on health and wellness and employee engagement and productivity," Rahill said. "This means that employers are missing out on one of the greatest tools available to enhance their strategic workforce plans."