McKinsey’s 1999 blockbuster “the war for talent” set corporate minds racing at the turn of the millennium. It announced that people were an organization’s most important asset and that measuring their impact was crucial.
Except it wasn’t.
The emphasis on human capital died away in the recession at the early part of this century. Jobs were scarcer and talent was easier to find. But today, a combination of factors, including a burgeoning US economy, has put human capital at top of the CEO agenda. The Conference Board’s 2013 CEO Challenge Survey places human capital well above operational excellence and innovation as the key challenge that keeps business leaders awake at night. Strategic recruiting, employee development, social networking, and internal employee communications are all critical business issues.
Other factors too identified by Bersin by Deloitte in a recent report pick out reasons why we are facing the perfect storm for HR tech – currently a $14bn plus global market that shows every sign of continuing to grow.
The key message from the Bersin report is that corporate users are hungry for change and that Cloud based, user-friendly, integrated systems are now making them feel spoilt for choice. With 57% of companies planning to invest in major new HR software in the next 18 months, we can expect this to be a dramatically growing market and to see some major shifts within the supplier community.
And what about learning in all of this?
Increasingly, organizations are coming to realise the importance of both recruiting right and developing right. With Cloud based systems we can expect more integration between systems providing learning, managing HR data, and operations. The days when it was possible for L&D to sit on the sidelines churning out courses are long gone. With human capital leading the CEO agenda, it’s time for learning to play on the team alongside HR and operations.
Infor VP & GM Learning Technologies