HR Trends Report Reveals Most Organizations Want to Connect Talent Decisions with Business Outcomes, But Less Than Half Actually Do

SHL 2012 Annual Global Assessment Trends Report: Hundreds of HR Professionals Disclose Top Talent Priorities and Practices

Mar 20, 2012, 08:32 ET from SHL

ATLANTA, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SHL, the global leader in talent measurement solutions, today released its highly anticipated Global Assessment Trends Report (GATR) – offering a comprehensive view into how organizations around the world view, assess, and measure talent throughout the entire employee lifecycle. This annual report surveyed nearly 500 human resource (HR) professionals from 37 countries around the globe to gain key insights into talent assessment practices, goals, and challenges with current workforces and new hire candidates alike. The survey revealed that while leadership and employee engagement have risen to the top of the priority list, organizations see much less value in employee development programs – with only one-third of respondents considering it a priority, and even fewer using it as a retention strategy. Additionally, while the majority of organizations saw the value in using talent measurement data to inform business decisions, many lacked the know-how to apply it to achieve quantifiable business outcomes.

"Our Trends Report has shown that as the economy continues its recovery, organizations are recognizing that their attraction and retention of top talent is what will propel them to the top of their newly reformed market landscapes," said David Leigh, CEO of SHL. "This may seem obvious in theory, but it's proving to be difficult in practice. While these organizations aspire to make the best business decisions based on key talent measurement data, many lack the ability to do it effectively. So there is a tremendous opportunity for companies worldwide to put their People Intelligence to work to create positive, profitable business outcomes."

Participants in the survey were asked to comment on a variety of topics such as the use of social media in the hiring process, employee retention, the importance of career development, company culture and more. The survey focused on three key areas: the 2012 HR landscape, assessments used in organizations, and the overall use of technology throughout HR processes. The accompanying results were benchmarked against last year's trends to identify areas of growth for 2012. Key findings from the report indicated:

  • Disconnect Exists Between Talent Decisions and Business Outcomes: While the majority of those surveyed (more than 80% of respondents) recognize the connection between talent decisions and broader business goals, less than half actually collected quantifiable metrics to assess impact and inform large-scale business initiatives and outcomes.
  • Increased Emphasis on Engagement and Leadership: 56% of respondents earmarked engagement/retention and leadership development as top priorities for 2012 while approximately 70% of respondents indicated their organizations had formal and/or informal processes in place for such initiatives.
  • Career Development Takes a Dip: Despite a growing emphasis on internal talent for hiring, only one-third of HR professionals viewed career development as a top priority, and even fewer viewed this as a successful employee retention strategy.  
  • Assessment Use Continues to Grow: Increasing numbers of companies (now more than 70%) use assessments for internal and external hiring decisions, with a focus on current behaviors and potential vs. past performance and experience.
  • Social Media as a Powerful Recruitment Tool: More companies are finding new ways to use social media for recruiting and hiring, and acceptance for this usage is steadily growing – with positive perceptions up 10 percentage points from last year alone.
  • More Companies Turn to Mobile: Asia continues to lead the way when it comes to Smart Phones and other mobile devices for recruiting, and not surprisingly, boasts a higher number of candidates requesting to take mobile-based assessments as compared Europe and the Americas.

For more information on the findings of the 2012 Global Assessment Trends Report, request a copy at

About SHL - People intelligence. Business results.

SHL is the leader in talent measurement solutions, driving better business results for clients through superior people intelligence and decisions - from hiring and recruiting, to employee development and succession planning. With a presence in over 50 countries, SHL delivers more than 25 million assessments annually in over 30 languages - allowing over 10,000 business customers to benefit from both global expertise and local insight. Along with its world-class consulting practices and 24-hour support center, SHL clients can access over 1,000 assessments through an easy-to-use technology platform. Headquartered in London, UK, the company has offices in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia/New Zealand. For more information, visit