Why Talent Once Again Matters

Organizations want to proactively identify and retain top employee performers before they can be identified and potentially wooed away by rivals.

What is workforce performance management (WPM) and why should it matter to you? A growing number of organizations are investing in WPM solutions to help them proactively identify and retain top IT talent.

More to the point, says market watcher International Data Corp. (IDC), a booming WMP market can tell us a lot about the state of hiring today.

In other words, talent once again matters—in a big way.

IDC isn't predicting a reprise of the talent wars of the late 1990’s, but the market watcher does say that things are going to get increasingly contentious as rival firms vie for top IT talent. IDC’s reasoning is as follows: Company A wants to proactively identify and retain top employee performers before they can be identified and potentially wooed away by Company B. Company B, on the other hand, wants to recruit top talent from outside its walls. Or perhaps Company B wants to identify and retain top employee talent while Company A wants to recruit it from outside the organization. Regardless, both firms will tap WPM solutions to help them do so.

That, in a nutshell, is the market niche that WPM purports to address. Many WPM solutions include a workflow engine to streamline employee reviews, help you establish (and then rate) employee competencies for a position, and set goals and objectives for the employee's next review period. It can be part of an organization's succession planning as well. Besides identifying top performers among current employees, WPM software it is often used to develop or motivate employees, turning a company's human resources into a high-performance workforce.

The upshot, IDC says, is that WPM is the fastest growing segment in a thriving talent management marketplace. To wit: the market watcher forecasts that worldwide spending for WPM services will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.3 percent between 2006 and 2010.

“All areas of talent management are experiencing growth, and workforce performance management is no exception,” said Lisa Rowan, program manager for IDC HR and talent management services, in a statement. “The war for talent is re-emerging and firms are recognizing that they are once again competing not only for product superiority, but for a high performing workforce, which is key to competitive advantage. Suppliers are responding with new strategies and offerings to help them win the battle.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.