North American HR Leaders Rank Talent Acquisition and Compensation and Benefits as Top Priorities, Indicating Optimism Regarding Economic Recovery

NEW YORK, NEW YORK and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Mar 18, 2013) - (MPI.L) Global research released today has uncovered the impact of North America''s slow but steady economic recovery on recruitment: 90% of businesses in North America are planning to recruit in 2013, compared to a less encouraging 76% of organisations in Europe.

The study comes from the Michael Page Global HR Barometer 2013, a survey of over 4,300 HR leaders across the globe carried out by worldwide recruitment specialist Michael Page.

It also found that a solid recruitment and talent acquisition strategy was top priority for 2013 for HR leaders in North America (compensation and benefits ranked second). The study reveals that talent acquisition is also the most common function among HR leaders globally. Despite being a key area of focus for HR professionals, for half of businesses the search for good candidates remains "difficult" or "very difficult". As a result, North American HR departments and companies are adopting multiple channels to source the best talent: 96% use online job-posting sites, 88% use their own company websites but only 75% employ recruitment consultancies. The percentage of North American HR leaders who rely on external recruitment help is lower than the global average which is closer to 83%. One thing that HR leaders agree on across all regions however is that recruitment consultancies are the best route to finding and recruiting at managerial levels and above.

Richard Vickers, Regional Managing Director of Michael Page North America, comments: "It''s not easy to find good people and it can be equally tricky to retain them. Thankfully, HR leaders now have a range of recruitment channels available and aren''t shy about using them.

"Recruitment consultancies, in particular, have the experience and the practice to make talent acquisition easier and more effective. They have access to the widest range of suitable candidates and can help HR leaders select the most appropriate person for the job.

"Despite the economic recovery being slower than most would have like in the region, a large majority of North American businesses are still planning to recruit signalling an increase in optimism. It means that acquiring the best talent in all areas is more important than ever. In particular, companies need to attract quality HR leaders so they can in turn help them bring in better managers in other departments."

In addition, the study found that employee retention is also a major issue for HR leaders. Eight out of ten businesses globally now offer work-life balance options, although outside Australia home office and parental leave initiatives are still rare. Many offer health & wellness programmes, although these are found least often in European companies.

Vickers adds: "Finding good people is one thing; keeping them is another. Work-life balance has become an integral part of the retention agenda for most businesses worldwide, although evidence suggests flexible working conditions such as working from home and parental leave are not as widespread as they could be."

The report also highlighted considerable variation in HR leaders'' pay and compensation packages globally: 40% of Asian companies and 35% of those in Europe offer less than $75,000 per annum in compensation and benefits to their HR directors and managers. The study indicates that the highest income levels in the world are attained in Australia/New Zealand (averaging $160,000 USD), Latin America (averaging $146,000 USD) and North America (averaging $142,000 USD). Financial services, energy and consumer goods are the sectors with the highest-paid HR leaders.

Other key findings:

  • Despite the challenges of acquiring talent, around one in five organisations have no KPIs in place to measure recruitment efficiency

  • The most popular tool for retention is training & development, used by more than half of organisations. However, most training involves hard skills and only a small proportion touches on leadership and management development

  • In North America, Europe and Australia, about 40% of HR leaders have a very low variable compensation (i.e. less than 5%). In Latin America, however, a quarter of companies offer a variable share of 20% or more

  • Latin American businesses are most likely to outsource HR services, with Australia least likely to do so. Globally, the most common outsource is payroll, followed by temp operations and training

  • 59% of HR leaders are female (60% in small businesses; 45% in companies with 1,000+ employees)

  • Globally, over 30% have more than 10 years'' experience in their current role, rising to 42% among companies in North America.

About Michael Page

Michael Page, part of PAGEROUP, is one of the world''s leading professional recruitment consultancies specializing in the search and selection of candidates in permanent, contract, temporary and interim positions with clients around the globe. We have over 35 years of expertise in professional recruitment and have grown organically to establish ourselves as one of the best-known and most respected recruitment companies in the market. We currently employ more than 5,000 people in over 160 offices across over 30 countries worldwide.

Visit us on:

Michael Page Canada - www.michaelpage.ca 

Michael Page US - www.michaelpage.us.com