In an unusual approach, IMPACT surveyed participants at major conferences during April, May and June asking them to pen their major concerns.
The findings from 180 participants ranked development and performance (42%) as the most critical concern among HR practitioners, closely followed by talent acquisition and Retention (30%) issues.
Overall, selection, recognizing critical skills for leadership development and improving retention of high performers were the most noted challenges for today’s HR leaders.
“Once a business function of personnel and payroll, today’s modern HR department is truly an integration of talent strategies,” said Lauren Herring, CEO of IMPACT Group.
“With ever-increasing pressures on enhancing engagement, retention, productivity and much more, HR executives have a lot weighing on their minds. This experiment allowed us to expose the most common challenges in HR today and empower practitioners with the knowledge that they are not alone,” she said.
The survey experiment also uncovered several trends within the industry:
- Employee and leadership development, building global leaders and uncovering or developing skills ranked most common for practitioners focusing on development and performance.
- Within talent acquisition and retention, the need to identify succession strategies for future leadership, retaining top talent and matching the right person and role were the top three issues highlighted. Keeping top talent engaged, empowering individuals and employee morale echoed among those struggling in employee engagement.
Other top trends for HR practitioners included diversity, wellness and health initiatives, as well as the emergence of a new trend in 2012 – complications in implementing social-media policies and programs.
“We wanted to create an untraditional survey in the form of a social experiment,” noted Lauren Fee, marketing manager at IMPACT Group. “Our method was to engage individuals in a new and nonthreatening way, which we found truly welcomed open, honest feedback from participants. The…concept was met with both natural curiosity and positive dialogue and was well-received by the trade-show audience. We are excited about the findings and plan to implement other unique ways to educate and work with our clients and the market.”
The study compiled “HR issues” that were identified during three conferences in the first and second quarters of 2012: the SHRM Talent Management Conference in Washington, D.C., the HRPS Global Conference in New York City and the 2012 SHRM Annual Conference in Atlanta. All events targeted leaders and decision makers in the human-resources arena.