A new survey of nearly 400 life sciences executives found that over 90% identify talent management as a key priority for 2010. However, only 26% have an active strategy in place for retaining talent and 68% have no clear leadership succession plan.

70% of executives surveyed also believe that a strong partnership with HR will be critical to the industry’s success as it undergoes a series of fundamental changes to its business model in the coming decade.

Going forward, 76% of executives want a clear, shared idea of their organisation’s future skills requirement with colleagues in HR, but 47% of organisations surveyed do not have a process in place to assess employees against the business’s medium and long-term goals.

Nick Stephens, CEO of RSA comments “As the industry emerges from recession and confidence returns about the future, now is the time to revisit the business partnership between line and HR, setting a proactive agenda to maximise the value of one of a business’s most valuable assets – its people”.

Priorities for 2010 – talent manage out of recession

Targeting senior executives and HR Directors in the global life sciences industry, the survey found that while 37% of executives would prefer their HR team to focus primarily on leadership development this year, in reality only 17% of them will get this priority. Instead, 25% of HR colleagues say their focus will need to be on re-structuring in 2010:

“The challenge this year is to balance long-term growth strategies with the more immediate pressures on headcount and short term costs” said Nick Stephens. “As the survey indicates, executives know that talent management and retention processes are critical to achieving this balance, but alarmingly these critical processes are not always in place.”

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