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Financial Impact of Talent Management Practices Revealed in 2009 Talent Management Factbook

Companies with Integrated Talent Management Strategies See 26% More Revenue Per Employee and 41% Lower Turnover among High Performers, According to New Bersin & Associates Research

Oakland, CA – July 16, 2009 – The latest research from Bersin & Associates reveals that talent management processes, often viewed by business managers and executives as non-essential HR formalities, do have significant financial impact. Based on research conducted in partnership with Human Resource Executive magazine, the 2009 Talent Management Factbook identifies the maturity of talent management practices across different industries and shows definitive correlation to key business indicators.

The research finds that companies with highly effective talent management strategies gain these and other benefits:

  • Greater employee productivity. Average revenue per employee is 26% higher.
  • Reduced employee turnover. Turnover among high-performing employees is 41% lower and overall voluntary turnover is 17% lower.
  • Improved ability to adapt to today’s economy. These organizations were 28% less likely to have experienced a major layoff (workforce reduction of 10% or more) between 2008 and 2009, illustrating their ability to rapidly adapt to change.

“This data makes a compelling business case for integrated talent management,” said Josh Bersin, president. “CEOs and senior business leaders must take ownership for talent management and make it as important as their focus on products, sales, marketing, and distribution.”

This just-released 146-page research report is based on a survey of 773 HR managers and executives. The 2009 Talent Management Factbook also includes detailed sections on trends and practices in all areas of talent management: performance management, leadership development, learning and development, succession management, workforce planning, and sourcing and recruiting. Many metrics include industry-by-industry and company-size comparisons to help readers benchmark their organizations with peers.

The report also contains a special section focused on the adoption and use of HR technology. Readers will find detailed examples from organizations such as American Express, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, McKesson, and the U.S. Air Force.

Following are additional representative findings:

  • Companies are making progress in their talent management initiatives. Nearly 50 percent of respondents said their companies are now implementing strategies for integrated talent management. This year, only 15% of respondents said their companies have no plans for implementation, down from 26% in 2008. Forty percent of respondents identified performance management as their top priority for the coming year. In today’s business environment, managers are keenly focused on using performance management to drive a culture of execution and to better inform critical decisions on downsizing and compensation.
  • Companies are now assigning a dedicated executive to manage talent management activities across the enterprise. This year, 31 percent of respondents said their companies have consolidated talent management activities under a single executive, up from 22 percent in 2008.
  • Employee development strategies are critical to success. High-quality development planning is one of the practices most highly correlated to reduced turnover and increased revenue per employee. Unfortunately, today this process is very immature. Only about half of respondents widely use development planning and only 8% said plans were effective.
  • Use of performance management (approximately 65%) and career/succession management (more than 30%) systems has increased considerably over the last year as the HR systems market becomes more clearly defined.

“This report includes a wealth of information that companies can use to assess the maturity of their talent management processes and identify potential areas for increased focus and improvement,” said Karen O’Leonard, principal analyst for the research. “We encourage companies to use this research to build the business case for talent management and to benchmark their current program strategies.”

The study is available at no cost to all Bersin & Associates research members. Non-members can purchase the study for $595. For more information, including an audio overview, an executive summary, and table of contents, visit

Bersin & Associates is also conducting a complimentary webinar, Talent Management: Benchmarks and Best Practices for Today’s Economy, on Tuesday, July 28, at 2:00 p.m. ET. To register, click here.

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates is the only research and advisory firm focused solely on research in enterprise learning, talent management, and talent acquisition. The company’s WhatWorks® membership program is designed to deliver actionable and practical guidance and to improve operational effectiveness and business impact.

Bersin & Associates research members gain access to a comprehensive library of best practices, case studies, benchmarks, and in-depth market analyses designed to assist professionals in making fast and confident decisions. Members also have direct access to analysts and a wide range of tested tools and models to address both strategic and day-to-day challenges. More than 5,000 organizations have used Bersin & Associates’ research and advisory services to guide talent and corporate learning strategies.

Research areas include planning and strategy, learning programs and delivery, talent management, leadership development and succession planning, talent acquisition, technology and infrastructure, informal learning, social networking, measurement and analytics. For more information, go to or call 561 455 0622, extension 223.