Businesses is picking up — for HR at least.
According to Bersin & Associates TalentWatch, 14 percent of HR professionals surveyed said their budgets are increasing by 10 percent or more. Only 5 percent (down from 16 percent a year ago), are seeing budget cuts of 15 percent or more.
TalentWatch is based on a survey of 265 human resource, learning, and business leaders.
As Jason Hanold, managing director of Russell Reynolds Associates notes in this story about the cutbacks and financial struggles in HR departments from a few months ago, HR is a “bellwether of the economy.”
So, as HR goes, so goes the nation? I guess we’ll see, but the Bersin survey also found that nearly one-quarter of respondents said that market expansion is also a high priority — up from only 16 percent a year ago.
The survey also saw an increase in respondents whose companies are undergoing mergers and acquisitions and introducing new products and services.
“It’s clear,” says Josh Bersin, president of the organization, “that business and HR leaders — particularly in financial and professional services, healthcare and hospitality — are preparing for growth. Instead of focusing on how to rapidly restructure and lay off people, we see leaders beginning to shift attention back toward skills development, globalization, innovation and rebuilding.”
The survey doesn’t actually correspond to his comment that organizations are focusing on skill development, however — as it notes that HR budgets for learning and development “are generally flat.”
Bersin suggests that HR leaders focus their training dollars where they can get the “biggest bang for the buck” — in areas such as coaching, efficient knowledge sharing and collaboration, onboarding, and management training.