Caught in the efficiency hole: Unbalanced optimization efforts did not improve HR outcomes enormously

In recent years a major part of the HR transformation effort has been invested in building up competitive HR Service Centers. The main objective was to achieve HR efficiency by increasing harmonization and standardization within the HR service delivery model. Such efforts have usually been based on a quantitative business case that has calculated a relevant return on invest when focusing on HR efficiency. The storyline of HR efficiency is well-documented and today most HR organizations have gained experience therein.


The result after several loops of HR efficiency optimization is to fall into the HR efficiency hole: The over years trained skill set to identify cost of administrative processes, compare them to a market standard benchmark and derive optimization fields brings HR Executives to focus primarily on HR efficiency. As a consequence, there is a severe risk of delivering highly efficient lean processes but failing to deliver to the business what it needs: effective support for their business needs.


The adaption of the process-driven optimization is a poor fit for investment in Talent Management for several reasons:

  • The results and its inherent quality are far more critical than the process. Focusing on “what to achieve” with Talent Management is much more important and critical than the “how” you identify, attract, develop, engage, reward and retain talent in detail.
  • Talent requirements change continuously as business becomes increasingly complex and product life cycles shrink. As a consequence adaptability, agility and flexibility in Talent Management are needed.
  • High level of ongoing collaboration and dialogue between Top Management, business executives and HR is critical in evolving talent in the company


Until recently, effective technological support for Talent Management was only available and feasible to a very limited extent. Systems were designed to support standardized data processes but not to support flexible and collaborative information concepts.

The lack of specific tools and inadequate HRIS-support for Talent Management are the very reason why the effort to improve Talent Management execution in the company has not been taken seriously. Even today, a lot of companies’ Talent Management still comprises a hodgepodge of hand-made solutions which are neither steered centrally nor monitored in a structured way.


The challenge for HR is a paradigm shift: to change the perspective from service delivery efficiency to measurable effectiveness by the delivery of intuitive and engaging tools that further the collaborative, flexible and agile nature necessary for Talent Management procedures.


Today´s technological innovation in HRIS solutions promises to fulfill these requirements and thus, enable HR departments to build effective Talent Management platforms.


Initial operational experiences have shown that new functionalities do indeed increase business-outcome orientation, flexibility, agility as well as collaboration.


Now it is up to HR to get out of the efficiency hole and prove that new HR Technologies can and do meet both the expectations and functional requirements of effective Talent Management.


You are looking for a reliable match between your Talent Management requirements and the possibilities of today´s HR Technology? We help to Shape Innovation and Investments to leverage and optimize Information Technology for HR!


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