Companies’ competitiveness hit by poor talent management

A global survey of senior business figures has found that more than two-fifths believe that a failure to manage talent effectively has had a negative impact on their organisation’s competitiveness.

The research, carried out for the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants by the Economist Intelligence Unit, also found that senior managers cannot seem to agree where the responsibility lies for developing talent.

While 83% of HR directors said that they believe the remit for managing talent lies with them, only 30% of chief executives (CEOs) and chief financial officers (CFOs) agreed, said the report.

More worryingly for HR departments, 83% of CEOs and CFOs advocated cutting investment in developing skills, training and qualifications over the next 18 months. At the same time, however, 40% of respondents said that an inability to manage talent was stifling innovation.

Charles Tilley, chief executive of CIMA, said: “This worrying boardroom divide threatens to destabilise sustainable growth by allowing the best talent to slip away. It is vital that organisations embed a robust human-capital strategy within the wider business plan and develop appropriate metrics and key performance indicators that are subject to the same level of scrutiny as financial data.”

Tilley recommended that organisations work harder to embed their HR strategy into the wider overall business strategy, applying the same rigour and controls to analysing talent-related data as they would to financial data. He also called for greater collaboration at both operational and board level, suggesting more partnerships between finance and HR professionals.

He added: “[Management accountants] have the ability to unite financial facts and non-financial information to provide this insight from a position of independence and objectivity. They can help organisations to create closer collaboration at the executive and operational levels – especially between finance and HR.”

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