World-class HR focuses on planning

The best-performing HR departments achieve 67% less voluntary staff turnover than typical companies by focusing on strategic workforce planning, according to a global study.

In part as a result of these lower resignation rates, companies with “world-class HR organisations” require 46% fewer new recruits than typical companies, and fill positions 11% faster, the Hackett Group study revealed.

The research also found that the best HR organisations spend 13% less than their peers – £878 versus £1,014 per employee – and operate with 15% fewer staff – 11.5 compared to 13.5 HR staff per 1,000 employees.

The Book of Numbers study, based on analysis of Hackett’s database of 2,100 global companies, identified consultation, training, talent management and diversity as key areas for top-performing HR teams.

It found that the best HR departments regularly consulted with senior management as they developed their strategic workforce plans, and were more than six times as likely to do so than typical companies.

They also focus much more than typical firms on linking learning and development initiatives to the critical skills and competencies identified through their strategic workforce planning efforts.

World-class companies identify key performers and put formal retention programmes in place for them, and are 12 times more likely to do so than typical companies, and twice as likely to review succession plans with senior management on a regular basis.

Finally, they focus on diversity, and are nearly four times more likely than typical companies to make it part of their strategic resource planning.

“The HR executive’s primary goal in any company is to ensure that the business has the right talent and skills at the right time, in the right place and in the right role. So it’s not surprising to find that the best HR leaders show a continuous focus on improving their organisations’ human capital,” said Stephen Joyce, HR practice leader at Hackett.

“Workforce planning and overall talent management are driving forces that enable world-class performance within all areas of an organisation, and HR has a critical role to play.”

For the 2005 Hackett Group study, go to

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