|  14.01.2013

Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World

A new study from KPMG International shows that the “war for talent” is crucial to almost every business in today’s competitive global markets. However, the Human Resources function is often viewed as being non-essential or ineffective.

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In the last several years, there has been a preoccupation with cost optimization, cost reduction, sustainable cost management - all things ‘cost’. This has required HR to play its part, largely through making the HR function more efficient, but not necessarily more effective.


With this relentless focus on costs, the problem has been that many HR functions have lost sight of how they can generate value in the wider business. This is a significant issue given that the people agenda in most organizations contains some truly business-critical issues and challenges, such as:


•             the war for recruitment and retention of “top talent”

•             the engagement of a global workforce operating within a much more fluid environment

•             ensuring the people profile matches the value drivers of the business

•             the smart use of technology to support both the business and its employees

•             drawing predictive insights from complex sources of data to ensure the agility of the organization


To probe more deeply into these challenges, as well as the opportunities for the HR function to change the dynamics of its relationship with the business, KPMG International commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to conduct a study of executives across the globe.


Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World has provided us with a fresh view of the path forward for leaders of the HR function. We believe there are some things on the horizon that will really shake up HR and make the people agenda as important to the CEO as the balance sheet and P&L statement.


To explore Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World, read the key findings from the research and hear the perspectives of KPMG Advisory professionals.


The value of the Human Resources (HR) function elicits sharply contradictory views within organizations. While the “war for talent” is understood to be crucial to almost every business, the HR function is often dismissed as non-essential or ineffective.


Respondents to an Economist Intelligence Unit survey, sponsored by KPMG International, give similarly mixed messages:

•             About eight in ten (81 percent) respondents say that putting in place the most effective talent management strategy will be key to competitive success.

•             Six in ten (59 percent) believe that HR will grow in strategic importance.

•             Just 17 percent maintain that HR does a good job of demonstrating its value to the business.


Meanwhile, the forces of globalization, talent constraints and new technology are driving rapid change to the HR function. A majority (55 percent) of survey respondents believe the metrics that define the success in HR today will fundamentally change over the next 3 years.

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