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Identifying top talent is a tricky bull’s-eye to hit in this stalled economy

by Scott Wallask

November 12, 2010

By Scott Wallask, Insider Learning Network

A director of product marketing at SAP mentioned on Twitter this the week the availability of a white paper about integrated HR systems.

The free report, “HR Best Practices: Delivering Strategic Value to the Enterprise,” was published by IDC in December 2009. IDC gathers IT market intelligence.

As I read through the report this week, it struck me how stuck in the muck our global economy remains. Points noted in the report in late ’09 still ring true almost a year later, such as high unemployment and lousy consumer confidence.

What a slow recovery this has been. It’s a situation laced with implications for SAP ERP HCM folks.

An important goal for companies during these lean times is to retain the best employees. “A 20% reduction in turnover at a company with 5,000 employees results in savings of $1 million to $5 million annually,” the white paper says. That kind of inoffensive savings (i.e., no layoffs) sure sounds good.

The problem is many factors cou ld determine which employees are “the best.” For example, is the decision based on:

  • Who makes the most money for the company?
  • Which employees perform their work most efficiently and keep costs low?
  • Workers who can get more out of colleagues because they are well-liked?
  • Those who have lengthy experience and understand what skeletons lurk under the company’s bed?
  • Champions who exert positive influence across the business?

It’s not an easy puzzle to assemble, and the pieces may be different at each individual company.

The white paper argues that integrating HR systems will help enterprises better ascertain the most valuable employees. “It isn't possible to easily answer the question ‘Where are our top people?’ with nonintegrated systems and processes,” IDC says.

It’s a valuable strategy as strapped companies try to hold onto their stars.

Follow Scott on Twitter @HR_expert.

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