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HR professionals in North America reveal high value of innovation but confirm significant barriers to adopting 'best practice' methods

August 13, 2013
Innovation is "crucial" to growth, profitability and a cutting edge say HR pros, but lack of budget and resources holds them back from delivering

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Globally 74% of HR professionals admit their organization should be doing more to demonstrate innovation in recruitment and talent management. However, a global study has revealed that in the US, a lack of senior buy in alongside a shortage of both financial investment and time, are the main barriers hindering the adoption of more innovative practices.

Within the global study, carried out by Futurestep – a Korn/Ferry company - recruitment and talent management professionals from eight countries admitted that using innovative methods in recruitment was key to winning the war for talent. When asked why innovative methods of recruitment should be adopted, 42% felt it was crucial in securing the best talent and a further third that it was key in hiring niche or hard to find talent (33%). And yet just over a quarter (27%) of US recruitment and talent management professionals have access to an R&D/innovation budget to improve performance in HR.

This sentiment was backed up by employees globally who revealed that they would be more likely to take a role if they felt the company using particularly innovative methods of interacting with them at the recruitment stage.

The study goes on to reveal that recruitment and talent management professionals believe professional online communities and online talent communities will be the most influential recruitment methods in the future – followed by mobile campaigns.

Respondents also provided a glimpse of what the employee lifecycle would look like globally in an ideal world. The practices that they would like to be using but are not currently are:

  • Recruitment: Mobile campaigns; creative advertising and bespoke talent communities
  • Engagement: Creative office environments and working spaces; sharing strategies and innovative flexible working processes
  • Development: International secondment programs; external training and external mentoring

"Whilst innovation is on the minds of talent and recruitment professionals in the US, failure to secure buy-in from the board means HR departments are suffering from a lack of dedicated funds, as well as time, to develop these innovative processes," said William Sebra, President of Futurestep North America.  "It is vital, particularly in a market as competitive as the US, that businesses are able to attract and retain the best talent available in order to drive growth in a continually challenging economic climate. However, at present, these obstructions are threatening to damage many organizations ability to deliver the talent demands of the businesses."

Follow the conversation on Twitter @futurestep #InnovationImperative

The full study, entitled 'The Innovation Imperative', is available for download from

Notes to editors

To develop this research, Futurestep conducted online surveys with two audiences: HR/recruitment/talent management professionals (Professionals) and employees (Candidates) from a range of industries in the UK, USA, Australia, France, Germany, Brazil, India and Greater China (an amalgamated market comprising Hong Kong and China).

100 Professionals were surveyed in each market, all of whom hold senior positions in companies of 250+ people. Professionals all held one of the following job titles: CHRO/HRD/VP, VP/Director/Head of Talent/Recruitment/ Talent Management, HR/Talent/Recruitment Manager, or, HR/Talent/Recruitment Executive. This fieldwork was supported by research with 500 Candidates (all of whom were in active employment when surveyed) from each market.

Fieldwork was conducted by Opinion Leader, an independent research company. Respondents were invited to take part through an email invitation after being screened as eligible for the research, with surveys completed between 19th February 2013 and 13th March 2013. Detailed research methodology can be found in the appendix of the full Futurestep report.

About Futurestep

Futurestep is the global industry leader in high-impact recruitment solutions; offering fully customized, flexible services to help organizations meet their talent and recruitment needs.

Our clients turn to us for proven expertise, a global process and infrastructure, proprietary competency models, innovative sourcing and attraction strategies, and a unique approach to measure and optimize business impact.

As a Korn/Ferry Company, Futurestep can meet a variety of workforce requirements; from RPO and project recruitment, to search and consulting, our solutions apply a truly world-class capability to deliver talent with impact, providing the experience and global reach to identify, attract and retain the people who drive business success.

To learn more, visit

About Korn/Ferry International
Korn/Ferry International is a premier global provider of talent management solutions, with a presence throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The firm delivers solutions and resources that help clients cultivate greatness through the design, building and attraction of their talent. Visit for more information on Korn/Ferry International, and for thought leadership, intellectual property, and research.

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