Talent is the key to success in today’s global economy, but as organizations increase their investment in human capital many of them question whether it is paying off. According to Mercer’s new Talent Barometer Survey, 60% of organizations worldwide report increasing their investment in talent in recent years. However, a much smaller percentage of respondents, 24%, say their plans are highly effective in meeting immediate and long-term human capital needs. Additionally, 77% of those surveyed by Mercer have a strategic workforce plan in place. But when asked whether it is part of their longer-term strategy, only 12% said they had plans that extended for five years or more. “Effective workforce planning is an essential part of positioning talent as a strategic asset and maintaining a competitive business advantage,” said Julio A. Portalatin, President and CEO of Mercer. “With the information and data analytics available today, employers can measure and manage their talent like never before. The question is whether the increased attention and efforts deliver the intended results. Outperformance requires a blend of innovative solutions and a fact-based approach to managing talent.“ Mr. Portalatin and other Mercer leaders presented the Talent Barometer Survey findings and discussed talent challenges at the recent World Economic Forum’s 2013 Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Mercer’s Talent Barometer Survey, which assesses the effectiveness of workforce practices in driving the short- and long-term success of organizations’ talent plans by region and industry, includes responses from HR and talent management executives at more than 1,260 organizations around the globe. The organizations surveyed vary in size from fewer than 1,000 employees to more than 10,000 employees (including government and not-for-profit organizations) and represent a wide variety of industries. The survey identifies a number of innovative practices that are characteristics associated with effective workforce plans. Accelerating talent effectiveness Mercer’s Talent Barometer research also explores key accelerators of talent effectiveness – education, health and wellness, and career experience – and their impact on successful workforce practices.