SilkRoad’s State of Talent 2017

By March 15, 2017 No Comments

Goodbye Processes and Transactions; Hello Employee Experiences

New research shows 53 percent of HR professionals report higher employee engagement through better onboarding, details other top challenges and opportunities in 2017

SilkRoad, a global leader in talent activation, today announced its “2017 State of Talent” report, providing in-depth analysis of the issues that matter most to HR professionals, forecasting the top talent activation trends in 2017, and examining HR’s role in moving beyond activities to creating an employee journey that attracts, motivates and connects to employee results.

Report findings were derived from more than 1,300 responses to surveys targeting HR professionals. The big shift: 2017 will be the year HR refocuses away from processes and transactions toward employee experiences.

Report Highlights

  • Among respondents who recently improved onboarding processes, 53 percent reported an increase in employee engagement
  • 44 percent reported “developing skills, leaders and succession” as their top concern
  • Talent professionals admit they are challenged to create engaging employee experiences for onboarding (41 percent), performance (46 percent) and learning (57 percent)
  • 51 percent worry about motivating employees about company goals
  • Among respondents who adopted — or are considering adopting — a more agile approach to performance management, 77 percent cite “more frequent conversations” with employees as the most important reason why

Trends to watch in 2017: All About Employees

  • Companies will take a deeper look at how to engage the hearts and minds of employees from recruiting and onboarding through retirement. By exploring how to present the employer brand and culture in the most compelling way, companies will gain a competitive advantage in both attracting candidates and retaining employees.
  • Companies move beyond talent management, exciting employees, engaging their interests and motivating around goals. Themes in this year’s report indicate significant issues with engagement, and it’s time for a new approach. By enhancing experiences, HR professionals gain an opportunity to go beyond engagement and “activate” employees with a highly proactive approach.
  • Agile performance management will blend with traditional programs. While traditional performance management programs remain deeply embedded in many companies, interest continues to grow in creating a more fluid and immediate process. Expect to see more frequent conversations, real-time feedback and team-based conversations.
  • The workforce will align with business outcomes. The exploration and analysis of the candidate and employee experience will uncover key connection points between the workforce and company goals. By formally assessing “experiences,” HR will find the best moments for strategic connections to impact business results.
  • “Appification” will help HR teams build solutions that best meet their needs. As “app-based” solutions become more available, companies will be able to pick and choose from smaller apps to build what works best for the organization, including easy connections for custom-built micro apps.

“2017 stands to become a significant turning point for how organizations think about and engage with employees,” said John Westby, VP of Corporate Marketing at SilkRoad. “We can go beyond automating HR functions to activating employees through engaging employee experiences and agile approaches to performance management. An emphasis on employees defining their own career paths will assist organizations in enabling each employee to positively impact business outcomes.”

View the full report here.


SilkRoad conducted the “State of Talent” research using web-based survey tools, targeted toward talent management professionals. From February through October 2016, 1,335 HR professionals from companies of all sizes responded.

About SilkRoad

SilkRoad is the leading provider of talent activation, enabling forward-thinking HR organizations to go beyond today’s talent management offerings to deliver modern, personalized talent journeys across a unified talent acquisition, onboarding and development process. SilkRoad activates the workforce, empowers HR and informs business leaders to drive better business outcomes.

For more information, visit, follow on Twitter @SilkRoadTweets or call 866–329–3363 (U.S. toll free) or +1–312–574–3700.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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