Organizations Investing More in Talent, But Is It Paying Off?

  Organizations Investing More in Talent, But Is It Paying Off?

  *60% of organizations surveyed are spending more on talent in recent years,
    but only 24% rank this investment as highly effective
  *Fewer than one-third of organizations actively implement a strategic
    wellness approach to overall health management
  *Mercer Analytics helps evaluate human capital programs, and their
    effectiveness and return on investment

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- March 12, 2013

Talent is the key to success in today’s global economy, but as organizations
increase their investment in human capital many of them question whether it is
paying off. According to Mercer’s new Talent Barometer Survey, 60% of
organizations worldwide report increasing their investment in talent in recent
years. However, a much smaller percentage of respondents, 24%, say their plans
are highly effective in meeting immediate and long-term human capital needs.

Additionally, 77% of those surveyed by Mercer have a strategic workforce plan
in place. But when asked whether it is part of their longer-term strategy,
only 12% said they had plans that extended for five years or more.

“Effective workforce planning is an essential part of positioning talent as a
strategic asset and maintaining a competitive business advantage,” said Julio
A. Portalatin, President and CEO of Mercer. “With the information and data
analytics available today, employers can measure and manage their talent like
never before. The question is whether the increased attention and efforts
deliver the intended results. Outperformance requires a blend of innovative
solutions and a fact-based approach to managing talent.“

Mr. Portalatin and other Mercer leaders presented the Talent Barometer Survey
findings and discussed talent challenges at the recent World Economic Forum’s
2013 Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

Mercer’s Talent Barometer Survey, which assesses the effectiveness of
workforce practices in driving the short- and long-term success of
organizations’ talent plans by region and industry, includes responses from HR
and talent management executives at more than 1,260 organizations around the
globe. The organizations surveyed vary in size from fewer than 1,000 employees
to more than 10,000 employees (including government and not-for-profit
organizations) and represent a wide variety of industries. The survey
identifies a number of innovative practices that are characteristics
associated with effective workforce plans.

Accelerating talent effectiveness

Mercer’s Talent Barometer research also explores key accelerators of talent
effectiveness – education, health and wellness, and career experience – and
their impact on successful workforce practices.

Significantly, more than half (57%) of the organizations surveyed are not
confident that educational institutions will generate the talent needed by
their businesses today. The sentiment among respondents does not improve even
when they are looking out as far as five years from today.

“This lack of qualified talent is a real concern for employers and one that
requires a multi-stakeholder approach to solving. We have found companies that
are most optimistic about the future are actively involved in shaping it,”
said Pat Milligan, Region President at Mercer and member of The World Economic
Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Education and Skills. As a result of this
educational gap, the survey shows organizations are employing internships,
apprenticeships, and teaching high-demand skills in secondary and tertiary

As for health and wellness, Mercer’s survey finds that less than half of
organizations worldwide actively apply the basic elements of a health
management program, such as ensuring a healthy workplace and establishing
health-related policies and procedures (as reported by 48% and 44% of
organizations, respectively). Less than one-third (31%) actively use a formal,
written multi-year strategic plan for health and wellness. “The research
suggests a strong link between employers’ focus on health and wellness and
employee engagement and productivity. This means that employers are missing
out on one of the greatest tools available to enhance their strategic
workforce plans,” said Dave Rahill, President, Mercer Health & Benefits.

The Talent Barometer research also confirms that encouraging diverse career
experiences and opportunities for growth which allow talent to excel is an
essential part of workforce planning. According to Mercer’s survey,
organizations globally take the issue of career experience seriously, with the
majority (80%) conducting regular (annual or semiannual) talent reviews.
However, far fewer actively employ other actions that enhance talent
availability and quality, such as assessing supply and demand of critical
talent, putting a strategic succession plan in place and developing programs
for high-potential employees.

For more information about Mercer’s Talent Barometer Survey, please visit our
website at

About Mercer

Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and
investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth
and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s 19,000
employees are based in more than 40 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned
subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), a global team of
professional services companies offering clients advice and solutions in the
areas of risk, strategy and human capital. With 53,000 employees worldwide and
annual revenue exceeding $11 billion, Marsh & McLennan Companies is also the
parent company of Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk
management; Guy Carpenter, a global leader in providing risk and reinsurance
intermediary services; and Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management
consulting. For more information, visit Follow Mercer on
Twitter @MercerInsights.


Stacy Bronstein, 215-982-8025
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.