Are organizations' efforts to invest more in talent paying off? Although most companies say they're spending more on strategic workforce plans, only one in four would rate their plans as highly effective, according to a new Talent Barometer Survey conducted by Mercer LLC.


According to the survey, 60 percent of organizations worldwide report increasing their investment in talent in recent years. However, a much smaller percentage of respondents, 24 percent, said their plans are highly effective in meeting immediate and long-term human capital needs.


"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, in a release. "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."


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.


More than half (57 percent) of organizations surveyed are not confident that educational institutions will generate the talent needed by their businesses, which will require a multi-stakeholder approach to solve, Mercer officials said. The survey found that organizations are responding by offering more internships and apprenticeships, and teaching high-demand skills in secondary and tertiary institutions.