Executives Rank Talent Management Among the Top Priorities, Finds Survey Conducted by HR Certification Institute and Dow Jones

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C-Suite leaders see much room for bottom-line growth through human resource management strategies led by credentialed HR professionals.

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To stay competitive, companies must increasingly rely on competent HR teams and work harder to redefine HR as a strategic driver of people, innovation and business performance.

Finding and keeping the right talent is critical to financial success yet remains a challenge, finds new research from HR Certification Institute®(HRCI®), conducted by Dow Jones Customer Intelligence, the research arm of the Wall Street Journal.

Of the 300 C-suite executives who participated in the study, The Change Agents, 95 percent say that hiring and retention directly affect the bottom line. And eight out of 10 executives consider human resource management to be a strategic partner to help drive talent strategies across their organizations.

"Finding the right people, keeping them motivated and creating cultures of high performance are among the toughest challenges facing business leaders today," Amy Dufrane, Ed.D., SPHR, CAE, the CEO of HRCI. "To stay competitive, companies must increasingly rely on competent HR teams and work harder to redefine HR as a strategic driver of people, innovation and business performance."

Executives agree that there is room for talent management improvement. While 70 percent or more of executives described their companies as "above average" or "industry leaders" in customer satisfaction, profitability, revenue growth and innovation, only 59 percent rank their companies as "above average" or "industry leaders" for attracting and retaining talent. In fact, 41 percent said their organizations were either "average" or "below average" for attracting and retaining talent.

Overall, executives rank "talent strategy and employee engagement" fourth as a top business concern, only behind "financial growth," "customer experience" and "new technology adoption." "Cybersecurity ranked" fifth.

Improving HR skills and knowledge within the organization is also critical. Seven out of 10 executives say their organizations would benefit from having HR departments with HR certifications, such as those offered by HRCI, that demonstrate professional excellence and commitment to continuous learning.

"There are many talent and leadership concerns that keep executives up at night -- from lack of candidates with the right skills and experiences, to succession planning, anticipating future work skills and managing a multigenerational workforce," Dufrane said. "The opportunity is for HR to provide expertise and strategic guidance in each of these areas."

In addition to findings from the research, The Change Agents report also includes HR success stories and executive-level insights on creating high-performance people strategies for sustainable success.

About HRCI

The HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®) mission, helping people and organizations perform better, grows out of a more than 40-year commitment to certification rigor and continuous learning excellence aimed at advancing global HR practices. Just as HRCI has earned its standing as the premier HR certification organization, HRCI-certified professionals have earned reputations for possessing the skills and knowledge needed to mitigate workplace risks and enhance people-driven business results. The HRCI suite of seven fully accredited credentials includes the PHR® and SPHR® for HR professionals, and the aPHR™ for students, early-career HR professionals and non-HR managers, and international certification options. Learn more about HRCI credentials and group certification programs at https://www.hrci.org.

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Barry Lawrence
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