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Majority of life sciences executives say industry ignores talent management

Majority of life sciences executives say industry ignores talent management
RSA survey highlights the need to revisit the business partnership with HR
A new survey of nearly 400 life sciences executives found that over 90% identify talent management as a key priority for 2010.  However, only 26% have an active strategy in place for retaining talent and 68% have no clear leadership succession plan.
70% of executives surveyed also believe that a strong partnership with HR will be critical to the industrys success as it undergoes a series of fundamental changes to its business model in the coming decade. 
Going forward, 76% of executives want a clear, shared idea of their organisations future skills requirement with colleagues in HR, but 47% of organisations surveyed do not have a process in place to assess employees against the businesss medium- and long-term goals. 
Nick Stephens, CEO of RSA comments As the industry emerges from recession and confidence returns about the future, now is the time to revisit the business partnership between line and HR, setting a proactive agenda to maximise the value of one of a businesss most valuable assets its people.
Priorities for 2010 - talent manage out of recession
Targeting senior executives and HR Directors in the global life sciences industry, the survey found that while 37% of executives would prefer their HR team to focus primarily on leadership development this year, in reality only 17% of them will get this priority.  Instead, 25% of HR colleagues say their focus will need to be on re-structuring in 2010:  
The challenge this year is to balance long-term growth strategies with the more immediate pressures on headcount and short term costs said Nick Stephens, CEO of RSA. As the survey indicates, executives know that talent management and retention processes are critical to achieving this balance, but alarmingly these critical processes are not always in place.
Surviving in a new world
With mega-mergers, shrinking R&D budgets and market access challenges all facing todays drug industry, RSA is launching its Talent Lifecycle Services to enable industry professionals to get the balance right between growth, headcount and cost.
A bespoke consulting and assessment offering, Talent Lifecycle Services will help life sciences organisations achieve competitive advantage by strategically managing talent and leadership to support their long-term growth plans.
RSAs research indicates four key areas where HR and line managers need to work together in order to remain competitive:
Leadership development (78%)
High potential employee identification & assessment (67%)
Performance management (60%)
Succession planning (60%)
With industry-leading occupational psychologists and talent management consultants, RSAs offering will help businesses across the whole of the life sciences value chain to carry out strategic organisational audits and in-depth resource assessments to confirm individual priority areas for sustaining competitive advantage.
Each element of RSAs Talent Lifecycle Service can be specifically tailored to address these priorities and to enable companies to work with experienced colleagues to develop the best strategy for managing talent. 
Nick Stephens said In todays highly competitive global drugs market, it is clear that executives identify well-managed talent as a key success factor.  RSAs Talent Lifecycle Service is a proven link between the boardroom and its HR partners we look forward to working with clients to help them focus on obtaining the maximum value from their human resource over the next five to ten years.
Leadership assessment, talent retention and the cost of recruiting senior executives were all identified as pressure points for todays life sciences executives.  The RSA offering will help businesses develop strategically-aligned programmes to ensure staffing decisions are made for the companys long-term growth, he concluded.


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