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Career frameworks deliver positive results

As the marketplace for quality talent remains competitive, employers are assessing their strategies for attracting and retaining top-performing employees. According to Mercer’s 2015 Career Frameworks in Talent Management Survey, more than three-quarters (76%) of organisations worldwide report their career framework delivered a positive return on their investment.

Among the survey’s other findings:
Half of organisations worldwide currently use career frameworks and an additional 37% plan to implement a career framework.
The top talent programmes driven by the career framework are training and development, (73%) performance management, (62%) career pathing (61%) and succession planning (61%).
More than three-quarters (76%) of organisations globally using career frameworks believe their investment has paid off in terms of ROI.

“Attracting and retaining the right talent continues to be a challenge for companies as a result of the competitive job market, flat compensation budgets, shortage in critical skillsets and a constantly changing business environment,” said Kate Bravery, Partner and Global Solutions Leader for Mercer’s Talent business. “Employers recognise that their employees are the key to success in today’s global economy. By focusing on developing and outlining career paths, they can influence employees’ growth potential within the company, improve retention efforts and cost-effectively develop a workforce that contributes to higher business performance.”

Consistent with the overwhelmingly positive response to the benefits of career frameworks, an outcome which other HR processes often struggle to achieve, just 3% of employers plan to shift from their current approach of building talent to buying it in the upcoming year. The priority business challenges related to talent – that impact career frameworks – are increasing employee mobility, engagement and retention (56%); benchmarking rewards and compensation (56%); and accelerating talent strategies to execute business objectives (53%). While these challenges are prevalent worldwide, the prominence varies by region based on career philosophy, talent needs, and effective use of career toolkits and training.

While one in two organisations in Europe has a career framework in place, an additional 41% have plans to implement one. However, organisations in this region are the least likely to have transparency with employees as to what is needed to progress within the organisation.

“For companies looking to attract, retain and engage employees with exciting career possibilities the career framework demonstrates organisational commitment to career growth,” said Sue Filmer, Principal in Mercer’s Talent business. “In addition, as many organisations focus on building an inclusive workplace, a career framework explains the options for professional development and what individuals should do to influence their own career direction. In both cases, transparency is key.”