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70% of HR leaders lack full confidence in workforce to drive business growth

As businesses emerge from the downturn, having the best people in the right places to drive growth is paramount, yet research due out later today at a major conference for HR leaders across Europe is expected to cast doubt over this being a reality

As businesses emerge from the downturn, having the best people in the right places to drive growth is paramount, yet research due out later today at a major conference for HR leaders across Europe is expected to cast doubt over this being a reality.

More than 200 delegates at the HRO Today Forum Europe, run by SharedXpertise, will hear that only one in three of their peers – 500 HR decision makers across Europe - are very confident that they currently have a world-class workforce with the best people doing the right jobs to drive growth.

The HRprOgression Survey 2013, compiled by the HRO Today Institute and Loudhouse, found that while three quarters (74%) of businesses expect to increase their overall workforce in the next 12 months and 71% have kept on staff in readiness for the upturn, organisations aren’t sure who and where their best people actually are. Other findings include:

  • Top Talent Roulette - Two thirds (61%) of organisations are concerned about losing high potential employees and critical talent over the next year, yet only one third of companies (33%) actually measure and report on high potential employees
  • Doubts over data - 29% say that the poor quality and reliability of employee data is a major concern
  • Best intentions - 79% say they could do more to get value from HR data in their organisation, but a fifth (21%) are not even clear on what they need to be measuring. Just 5% feel that they currently make the best use of HR data to manage employee capital risks and more than half (53%) are only able to plan resourcing needs up to six months ahead
  • Innovation and growth stunted by short-term desire to reduce cost - The key driver for using external HR service providers is to drive growth / innovation (60%) but when it comes to choosing an HR service provider the main factor considered is proven cost savings (47%)


Faye Holland, Managing Director of SharedXpertise, organisers of the HRO Today Forum Europe, says, “HRs are under tremendous pressure to deliver and to be operating more strategically than ever, but our research would suggest that many need guidance on how to achieve this aim.”

 

Suzy Timms, Head of Research at Loudhouse and author of the report commented:

“The study tells us that while many organisations understand the strategic purpose of the HR function, day-to-day activities tend to focus more on efficiency savings than delivering against the strategic objectives of the business. This can result in missing opportunities to respond to the growing need for world-class staff, as well as potentially increasing business risk around recruitment and retention.”

Holland concludes that HRs need to mount a three-pronged attack to address key barriers, involving data, partnerships and technology:

“The first step is to use data to identify where the HR function needs to go and what it needs to achieve. You can then identify the people or organisations who you can work with to help you get there. Finally, HRs must ensure that they have the best tools in place to do the job. With these steps in place, they will be in a strong position to drive business growth.”

The full findings of the report will be launched this morning at the HRO Today Forum Europe in London, as part of the ‘Evidence Based HR’ track of the event.