When asked to identify their most pressing strategic HR issue for 2007, 60 percent of HR executives said they were most concerned with "talent management" which encompasses recruiting, assessing, developing and retaining talent. That was among the findings of the latest annual ORC Worldwide HR Priorities survey, conducted among HR executives from various industries and company sizes.
"The real driver for this focus on talent management is that companies have not only recognized the value of talent as a competitive advantage, but they are developing the tools and processes that help optimize organization capacity and performance," said ORC Worldwide President Robert Freedman in a press release announcing the survey results.
The second most pressing strategic issue, as reported by 23 percent of HR execs surveyed (and up 6 percent from last year's survey), was transforming and leading the HR function. Meanwhile, almost 8 percent said that their top area of focus in 2007 regarded activities related to cultural transformation.
"In the past few years, we have seen HR executives become increasingly focused on activities related to cultural transformation," Freedman explained. "Performance management and 'pay-for-performance' programs are among the important tools in transforming culture, and we have seen our consulting work increase in those areas."
The survey also asked HR executives to rate the significance of emerging HR issues in relation to their companies. The three issues that were ranked the highest were leadership development, succession planning and HR technology. These were followed by workforce planning, executive compensation and diversity.
Larger companies (with more than 10,000 employees) rated leadership development and succession planning as the most significant emerging issues, while smaller companies (with less than 10,000 employees) rated diversity as a top issue.