According to a number of recent surveys, a major skills shortage and an ability to recruit people is putting significant pressure on Irish businesses. Leaders are battling with recruitment, talent management and performance management, and are often constrained by inflexible and inadequate HR and analytics systems. BearingPoint faced similar challenges and implemented SuccessFactors to help recruit and motivate staff with a view to helping us achieve our growth objectives

At a recent Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) event in January, titled “HR Practices in Ireland”, it was stated the most common challenge facing Irish HR functions and businesses is talent management – both in terms of attracting and retaining staff. In a recent survey of over 900 companies, CIPD found that 78% of companies in Ireland experienced a skills shortage in 2016, and this challenge is expected only to grow as the national unemployment rate heads below 7%.

CEO priorities for the next two years are talent management (59%), leadership development (51%), performance management (46%) and increasing agility/flexibility (46%). Interestingly, the top three priorities for HR are similar but different, with performance management (37%), culture change (37%) and recruitment and resourcing (36%) topping the list. Investing in people through learning and development was a top priority for 31% of respondents.  

LinkedIn presented some very interesting findings based on their analysis of the more than one million professionals in Ireland who use their platform. On average, people are spending about six years at a company. 90% of professionals in Ireland are potential job candidates, with over one third actively seeking new opportunities. Professionals seeking new roles are very interested in company culture and value, office locations and, of course, open jobs. This very much supports CIPD’s finding of an increasingly more mobile and diverse workforce with a changing set of values.

PWC’s “2017 HRD Pulse Survey” presents very similar findings: a lack of available talent is a threat to business growth plans (77%); organisations are focusing on more frequent discussions with staff to help improve performance management (74%); developing key skills and retaining key talent is the top priority for HR in 2017.

So what is holding companies back? The survey findings indicate the two biggest obstacles are outdated/inflexible systems (60%) and a lack of insights into workforce data (55%). However, all is not lost. The relatively recent arrival of cloud-based HR and talent management platforms has helped thousands of companies to overcome these specific barriers without the need for lengthy projects requiring considerable capital expenditure. Good news for the 62% of HRD Pulse Survey respondents who plan to invest in their HR, talent management and data analytics technologies in the next 18 months.

BearingPoint, a European management and IT consultancy firm, was facing many of the challenges above, in particular around recruitment and performance management. With ambitious growth plans, BearingPoint needed to find a way to attract new hires and deliver against our business and growth targets. We selected SuccessFactors and have successfully implemented this new platform for 3,700 employees across Ireland and mainland Europe. BearingPoint now has a comprehensive firm-wide talent acquisition and reporting capability with common processes, allowing for better insights and improved implementation of our talent and performance management strategies.

SuccessFactors is a market-leading talent management solution that enables companies to make decisions on how best to focus resources to ultimately execute their business strategies. This integrated platform allows companies to address many of the challenges identified by the surveys above, helping them to:

  • Attract and engage quality candidates with cutting-edge recruitment capabilities by extending recruitment into the social network
  • Reward and retain true top performers - calibration ensures reviews are tied to compensation planning 
  • Connect with new employees, providing a better employee experience, better engagement and teamwork, better retention and a faster time to contribution from day one
  • Execute business strategy by aligning individual goals with corporate goals
  • Blend formal, informal and social learning and deliver all such learning via mobile technologies to accelerate business impact
  • Spend more time delivering continuous coaching, development and appraisal opportunities to employees, wherever they are based

For many businesses, their most important assets are their people. However, attracting and retaining staff has never been such a challenge. A lot of effort has gone into transforming customer interaction in recent times, but little has happened to transform employee interaction. Having insights and advanced analytics capabilities about how best to attract and motivate people has become a critical growth success factor. The confluence of market and technology forces means the time is now right for companies to transform their HR delivery and make HR a strategic part of the business

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