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Jamie Lawrence


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HR professionals struggle to ‘justify case for talent’


Close to two-thirds of HR professionals feel overwhelmed by the complexity of justifying investment in talent amid increasing pressure to show ROI, says new research.

Almost four out of five (79 percent) HR leaders believe senior management in their organisation think talent is critical to the bottom line.

Over half (54 percent) feel their organisation hasn’t invested enough in talent of late because there’s no agreement over how to measure and show its return. A further four out of five (84 percent) say HR needs to do more to measure and evaluate the financial and non-financial return on talent activities after talent programs have been implemented.

When asked what is causing the problem, 47 percent of HR professionals say they don’t possess the necessary skills to develop a financial business case for talent. Just under half (48.5 percent) believe it isn’t possible to calculate the financial impact of talent investment with any accuracy, although 79 percent do acknowledge a need for financial measurement.

According to the survey, traditional HR metrics are still the most commonly used way to validate investment.

Four out of five respondents still use retention figures while 77 percent use performance ratings compared with just one in four companies looking at company revenue and profit margins.

The research, from leadership firm Cirrus and talent management providers Lumesse, questioned HR and talent professionals in UK-based companies across multiple sectors including leisure, media, manufacturing, professional services and banking.

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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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