The 3 Biggest Challenges Facing HR Today

In May of 2011 when we started The Talent Company, we had a vision to create and develop an organization of leading HR, Recruitment and Talent experts to partner with organizations to address their key talent and HR challenges.  Personally it was important to me to not only build a team of experts across the various HR disciplines but also build a team of great people who I have worked with at some point over my past 20 years in HR.  It was also important to bring together people with the similar focus on quality of work, innovation and personal integrity.  For me to once again invest my time and money in building a business it was critical to surround myself with great people who I can trust to deliver over and above our clients’ expectations.

In my mind the key differentiator of The Talent Company is that we have walked a mile in our client’s shoes with our extensive HR, Talent and Recruitment corporate experience.  We have faced and successfully addressed the challenges and issues our clients experience…..mainly centred around 3 main themes:

  • Leadership Effectiveness
  • Talent Acquisition & Talent Management Challenges
  • HR Capability and Capacity

Leadership Effectiveness

Leadership effectiveness is the number one challenge faced by organizations in today’s market.  Leaders have the largest impact on how well employees are working toward achieving the organization’s business strategy and goals.  Unfortunately most organizations hire and promote their talent into leadership roles these days without any formal leadership development, coaching and training.  These new leaders are just not appropriately equipped with the insight, knowledge and tools to be truly effective.

Recent research has found that high-performing organizations — those with the greatest growth in revenue, market share, customer satisfaction and profitability — were twice as likely as low market performing organizations to involve their frontline managers in the design, development and execution of talent-management strategies. In other words, involving managers in all aspects of talent management was highly correlated to better market performance.  Additionally, these high-performing companies were three times more likely to say that their frontline leaders were highly involved in leadership, career, and high-potential development.

There is a real business case that can be made for organizations to invest the time, energy and tools in developing their managers and supervisors to be effective leaders through training, coaching, and to ensure the managers are held accountable for these activities.  The Talent Company partners with our clients to develop and manage customized leadership development programs and initiatives to enable leadership success.

Talent Acquisition & Talent Management Challenges

Organizations are continuing to struggle with hiring and managing their talent effectively.  Most corporate recruitment and talent functions are reactive and rarely are future focused.  These functions aren’t aligned to their organization’s business strategy, aren’t part of a formal organizational talent strategy and in fact seldom even communicate with each other.  Most HR Leaders and their teams aren’t spending the necessary time upfront to analyze and properly plan their organizational talent assets, needs, and gaps.  When an organization’s Recruitment and Talent Management functions are performing effectively, the rewards far outweigh the investments.

Organizations must be self-aware and understand their true functional capabilities within Recruitment and Talent Management.  An organization which isn’t effective in managing and developing their own talent will need to rely more on hiring new talent to fulfill the talent requirements of the business strategy.  The organization must understand the limitations of their talent functions and make the appropriate decision to either invest quickly in resolving their functional deficiencies or work around the deficiencies.

At The Talent Company, we help your organization to translate their business strategy and goals into an organizational talent strategy and plan.  We work closely with our clients to understand and assess their talent including skills and capabilities and enable our clients to identify the future talent gaps their organization faces.  We are former corporate Recruitment and Talent leaders who have led the national and global talent functions for a number of organizations considered best-in class in terms of their focus on talent.  We are trusted advisors for our clients in enhancing their recruitment and talent functions.  We enable our clients to successfully move, develop and recruit talent to meet their organizational needs and goals.

HR Capability and Capacity

Too many business leaders and executives still view HR as a non-strategic cost centre instead of a core, profit-contributing function. This is especially true during the tough economic times of the past few years which have put more organizational demand on the revenue generating business functions – and more of a focus on cost saving for the other functions.  Unfortunately most organizations still view HR as a transactional cost centre which has forced them to downsize the function and “do more with less”.  HR is still faced with the challenge of capacity with the reduced number of resources resulting in less focus on new HR and Talent initiatives and innovations for their organization.

Many HR functions have spent the past few years transforming themselves to be HR Business Partners.  Unfortunately within many organizations this change was in name only with HR simply renaming their HR Generalists, Managers and Directors as HR Business Partners.  These same HR professionals who were HR Managers one day were given the new title as an HR Business Partner.  It was merely a window dressing exercise as organizations were seldom training, coaching, developing and equipping their HR talent with the capabilities and tools to walk, talk and deliver as a true HR Business Partner.

One of the most common complaints about HR is that many professionals lack the forward thinking, strategic advisory focus needed to be an effective business partner.  They don’t spend the time to understand the business they support and focus more on transactional HR activities that don’t have the impact the business desires.  HR Business Partners need to be trusted advisors to the businesses and leaders they work with.  They need to be effective coaches and remain aware of their critical role as to effectively assess workforce capabilities and enable planning for future needs.  HR must be focused on becoming a trusted advisor to their business to empower managers to drive improved organizational performance.

As your organization continues to look for ways to enable growth and drive success in a changing economy, The Talent Company offers a full range of HR services and solutions to help your HR function enhance its capability and capacity ensuring your business leaders will view your HR function as a focused profit-contributing function.


Simon Parkin is the Practice Leader for Recruitment and Talent Management Solutions at The Talent Company –  Simon is recognized as a global thought leader in the acquisition and management of talent and has successfully transformed the Talent function for organizations of all sizes. Simon works closely with clients to build, develop and innovate their Recruitment, Talent and HR functions. He is a former global leader of Recruitment and Talent for a Fortune 100 company. Simon is a featured speaker at a number of HR and Recruitment conferences across North America and an author of many acclaimed articles on innovative Recruitment, Talent and HR trends and best practices. Simon’s full profile can be found at

Simon can be reached at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: