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Bersin & Associates Predicts that a Global Talent Imbalance will Shape HR and Talent Strategies in 2012

Agile Organizations that Leverage Social Technology, Diversity and a Coaching Culture will Out-perform Their Peers

Oakland, CA – November 30, 2011 – Bersin & Associates, the premier research and consulting firm empowering Human Resource (HR) organizations to drive bottom-line impact, today announced that it predicts leading-edge HR teams will drive competitive advantage for their organizations by building a borderless, agile workplace with new and changed talent and learning strategies in 2012. These new strategies include the heavy adoption of social networking for recruiting, employment branding, learning, and collaboration; a focus on diversity and “GirlPower” to build leadership competencies for the future; and continual coaching and goal review to drive agile performance management.

Bersin & Associates delivers the predictions in its Strategic Human Resources and Talent Management: Predictions for 2012 – Driving Organizational Performance amidst an Imbalanced Global Workforce.This new report provides an annual review of the key business, training and talent management trends to consider in strategic planning and budgeting for the year ahead. It points out that not only has the global recession continued in 2011, but the disparity between the fast-growing emerging economies and the slower-growing U.S. and European economies grew in size. This confluence of events has forced organizations to tap talent markets globally.

“Our research shows that nearly every major business is trying to globalize is operations, move talent and business towards areas of growth, and at the same time improve the engagement, retention and performance of the workforce everywhere else,” said Josh Bersin, chief executive officer and president, Bersin & Associates. “There has been a paradoxical imbalance in talent markets. Despite high levels of unemployment, employers are having a hard time finding the right skills. This imbalance is producing an incomparable talent scarcity that threatens economic growth around the world and has fundamentally changed the way we approach workforce management.”

While this economic dislocation has been taking place, technology has advanced at one of the most rapid rates in decades. The global workplace suddenly became small with the rapid of adoption of mobile phones, tablet computers and high-bandwidth Internet access enabling communication all the time. In 2011, more than $3 billion of talent management software was purchased, a figure Bersin & Associates expects to increase to almost $3.5 billion in 2012. Such changes in part have driven the adoption of leading-edge HR, learning and talent practices, including social recruiting, mobile learning, and agile performance and leadership management practices.

The 14 predictions included in the 2012 report highlight the radical changes underway in the economy and the workplace as they relate to social networking for talent acquisition, informal and on-demand learning, performance management, employee engagement, talent development and mobility, and career development. Additional changes highlighted in the report include new models and modalities for leadership development, changes in the talent management software market, and all things social – including recruiting, learning, rewards, performance management, and career management. Among the predictions:

  • Talent acquisition goes social – forcing a reinvention of agencies and job boards. Bersin & Associates’ research found that the $124 billion talent acquisition market spends almost 10 percent of its budget on social networking already, and this will increase in 2012. Organizations in the coming year also will understand that their entire employment brand and social strategy has dramatic impact on their ability to hire. As this massive shift occurs, agencies and recruitment process outsourcing firms will undergo stress and will need to reinvent themselves to become expert in modern approaches to talent acquisition.
  • New models, diversity and “GirlPower” will drive leadership strategies. Bersin & Associates research shows that many of the leadership competencies needed today focus on team-building, global and multi-cultural awareness, the ability to influence change, and creativity and innovation. Research shows that companies with significant female board representation had a 26 percent greater return on capital invested. Similarly, in today’s global workplace organizations that value diversity outperform those who do not. Bersin & Associates research also has found that only when top executives take an interest in building strong leaders do leadership cultures emerge. As a result, among the new “best practices” for leaders Bersin & Associates sees in 2012 are a focus on the development and succession of top women leaders, diversity, and executive commitment to leadership development.
  • Performance management will go agile. Bersin & Associates’ groundbreaking 2011 research on performance management discovered that companies that regularly revise and update goals quarterly generate more than 30 percent greater impact from their performance management process than those who implement the old-fashioned annual review. As labor markets have tightened, Bersin & Associates has seen a continual shift toward a “coaching and development” model – companies realize that while they must still weed out the low performers and drive execution, it is even more important to coach people to perform better – and potentially move them into a better role. Our research also shows that creating a coaching culture is among the keys to building deep employee engagement.

To download a complimentary copy of the report, go to Strategic Human Resources and Talent Management: Predictions for 2012 –Driving Organizational Performance amidst an Imbalanced Global Workforce.

Register to join Josh Bersin as he shares his Strategic HR and Talent outlook for 2012 through a Webinar at 2 p.m. Eastern on January 12 “Predictions 2012: Your Crystal Ball for Building the Agile and Borderless Workplace.”

Those interested in learning more about Bersin & Associates and its WhatWorks® membership may email info@bersin.com or call (510) 251-4400.

For media queries, email laura.evenson@bersin.com or call (510) 251-4406.

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates empowers HR and learning organizations to drive bottom-line impact through world-class research and consulting. The company's WhatWorks® membership gives human resources, learning, and talent acquisition professionals the information and tools they need to drive change in their organizations as strategic business partners.

Bersin & Associates members use our insights and tools to benchmark themselves against best practices, design and implement programs across the HR and learning spectrum and select and implement systems.  A piece of Bersin & Associates research is downloaded every other minute during the business day. More than 5,000 organizations worldwide, including more than 60 percent of the Fortune 100, use Bersin & Associates research and consulting to guide their learning, talent, and human resources strategies.