Talent Management Remains Important to Midsized Businesses Even in Tough Economic Times

Since the near meltdown of the U.S. economy in 2008, economic uncertainty has affected businesses of all sizes. The unique impact of these tough economic times on midsized businesses, however, has gone largely unexplored. In May 2012, the ADP Research Institute℠ conducted an online survey of 507 business owners, C-suite executives, and senior level executives in U.S. organizations with 50-999 employees to gain insight into their perceptions about the state of the economy, their top business concerns, and their key challenges moving forward. Survey results indicate that while the vast majority of midsized business leaders are pessimistic about near-term economic improvement, they still see strategic value in talent management — an organization’s ability to hire, develop, and retain high-performing employees to support business goals. In fact, nearly half of the survey respondents (43%) intend to increase their organization’s headcount in the next year.

Many Midsized Businesses Plan to Hire Despite Economic Uncertainty

What are the right steps for organizations to take in response to an uncertain economic recovery? Survey results suggest that many organizations are starting with talent management. Despite their concerns regarding both the recent past and near future of the U.S. economy, more than two out of five respondents saw an increase in their organization’s number of employees within the last four years and 43% anticipate a continued increase in the next year. Those respondents who plan to increase headcount within the next year expect to hire an average of 18 new employees (larger companies 45; smaller companies 13) primarily in operations roles.

Midsized Business Leaders See Room for Improvement in their Talent Management Tools

The midsized business owners and executives surveyed identified several issues that reside both within their control and within the sphere of human capital management as it is practiced today. Less than half of respondents (49%) are confident that their organization has effective tools to find, keep, and grow the best talent. Given that 43% of business leaders surveyed planned to increase headcount within the next 12 months, this lack of effective talent management tools could hinder their organizations’ hiring process, and ultimately, their ability to succeed in the face of economic challenges and global realities largely outside of their control.

*A complete list of sources and citations can be found in the full report.

About This Report: This report is based on findings from the ADP Business Owner Study, an online survey of 507 business owners, C-suite executives, and senior level executives in U.S. midsized companies conducted in May 2012 by the ADP Research Institute℠, a specialized group within ADP. This report reveals midsized business leaders’ perceptions about the economy, their top business concerns, and their anticipated responses to these challenges.