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HR survey - The global trend remains defensive | Whitepaper



Recovery: caution in order

HR survey - The global trend remains defensiveAt the end of 2010, Deloitte Luxembourg decided to extend the Talent Survey initiative first launched one year previously in order to more closely monitor the concerns of Luxembourg companies and provide food for thought regarding the fundamental trends in talent and high-potential profile management.

Set against the current economic context, this report presents a summary of the critical elements and key trends as perceived by survey respondents: decisionmakers, HR managers, finance specialists and other operational department professionals.

The respondents recognise that the current economic situation is improving but remain cautious regarding the solidity and sustainability of the recovery. This tempered optimism is leading decision-makers to seek a balance between tight cost control (which for a third of them involves consideration of additional downsizing) and strategic investment in support of growth recovery, the prioritising of business development, the building of customer loyalty and innovation through new products and services.

Attracting and developing talent in order to meet new challenges

As regards human capital management, the results reflect a desire to prioritise the attraction and retention of talent and high-potentials. Most companies acknowledge the need to make significant efforts to augment their appeal, particularly by improving their talent management programmes: developing skills, identifying and rewarding high performers and high-potentials, improving the attractiveness of functions and defining career opportunities more clearly, for example.

Companies also state their willingness to promote flexibility in the workplace, offering new opportunities to access positions of responsibility and strengthening their image as employers of choice.

In return, they expect their high performers and high-potentials to participate more fully in the future of the company, particularly in strengthening managerial functions, developing activities and gaining a better understanding of risk management, rules and governance.

Retain and motivate: moving on from the crisis

One third of companies state that they have identified an increase of around 20% (as compared to 2010) in the voluntary turnover risk, a trend that is in line with the economic recovery projections of the IMF and the ECB for the euro zone.

This situation is caused partly by the declarations of companies over the past two years of their intentions to control costs, and by the difficulty they face in offering career opportunities, which is a cause of frustration for some. Organisations are now keen to address this problem by promoting their culture and values and their willingness to establish a direct link between pay increases and economic performance.

An HR system: a requirement for many companies

The gradual and prudent recovery ahead is encouraging companies to launch a variety of projects to support a return to growth. As regards the management of their human capital, one third of companies recognise that their HR system is over 7 years old and primarily involved in performing administrative tasks and time management.

Meanwhile, 4 out of 5 companies recognise that they have neither the satisfactory management tools nor the functions required to adequately support talent management.

Main conclusions

Concluding and comparing the results of this study to that carried out internationally by Deloitte, it appears that – with the exception of some emerging countries, where growth is more visible and tangible – the recovery prospects and concerns of companies regarding the management and retention of talent are relatively similar. However, global measures taken to contain the effects of the crisis have focused significantly on improving profitability, reducing costs and cutting jobs, while Luxembourg companies have attempted to maintain their workforces as far as was possible, enhancing their flexibility in the workplace and encouraging their employees to become more involved in their activities.

As regards preparations for a return to growth, the investment priorities of companies nationally and internationally also converge – their efforts are focused on research and development and the integrated field of technology and talent management, in order to (i) offer customers a diverse range of products and services that provide true added value and (ii) give employees opportunities to fulfil their ambitions.

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