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For immediate release: (March 17 2008) - Leading sourcing advisory firm EquaTerra and Human Resource Executive® magazine today announced the results of a comprehensive joint study to assess what “strategic HR” actually means to HR professionals. The study also explored how talent management and alternative service delivery models, such as outsourcing, can enable strategic HR.

The study surveyed approximately 450 HR leaders, in both Europe and North America, 29 per cent of whom were vice presidents of HR and 53 per cent of whom were HR directors or managers. The two organisations jointly conducted a similar study in 2005.

Becoming a leader in “total talent management”, (recruiting, performance, learning, succession planning), was deemed the most critical thing HR organisations could do to become more strategic, as cited by 72 per cent of respondents. 79 per cent of study participants also said that total talent management was the activity that contributed the most to making HR strategic.

Stan Lepeak, EquaTerra’s Managing Director of Research explained, “Improving total talent management will be key for organisations and their HR groups over the next five years, as competitive differentiation and success typically hinges on talent capabilities. One process that shows potential in helping HR groups improve their talent management capability is the use of alternative service delivery models.”

Additionally, 58 per cent of respondents felt their organisation’s executive management viewed HR as a strategic asset, and just 18 per cent indicated it was viewed as a cost centre. Although these are relatively positive numbers, the levels have changed little from those found in responses to the 2005 study, and depict that 40 per cent of HR groups believe they are not viewed as strategic.

’Because the answer to what makes HR strategic depends on whose opinion is being asked, EquaTerra encourages HR leaders to define what strategic means, not only in the context of their department’s current situation, but also in the eyes of key stakeholders and decision makers within the overall corporation.’ continued Lepeak

The study also found that the use of alternative HR service delivery models was not viewed as especially important in enabling HR transformation. The deployment of shared services scored a 3.1 on a 1- 5 scale (where 1 was not at all important and 5 was very important to making HR more strategic). Outsourcing supporting HR information technology applications and systems received a 2.8, and HR business process outsourcing scored a 2.3. It is important to note, however, that the use of alternative service delivery models, such as, shared services and outsourcing was more common and more highly regarded among respondents from larger organisations, and those in the commercial sector than those in the public sector.

One sub-set of study results, published in the March 17, 2008 edition of Human Resource Executive® magazine, is available by going to:, or by sending an e-mail to:

An EquaTerra podcast ‘Outsourcing’s Role in Making HR More Strategic’ can be accessed by going to Full study results will be examined in detail during an EquaTerra webcast to be held on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 1600 (GMT). For further information on the webcast, please contact:

For more information, or to speak to an EquaTerra spokesperson please contact:

Sarah Beyrath
Public Relations Manager (EU)
+44 (0) 20 7347 5156
+44 (0) 7702 915 968


Notes for Editors:

About EquaTerra

EquaTerra sourcing advisors help clients achieve sustainable value in their IT and business processes. Our advisors average more than 20 years of industry experience and have supported over 2000 transformation and outsourcing projects across more than 60 countries. Supporting clients throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, we have deep functional knowledge in Finance and Accounting, HR, IT, Procurement and other critical business processes. EquaTerra helps clients achieve significant cost savings and process improvement with internal transformation, shared services and outsourcing solutions. For more information, please contact at +44 (0) 845 838 7600;;

About Human Resource Executive ® magazine

Human Resource Executive® was established in 1987 and continues today as the premier US publication focused on strategic issues in HR. Written primarily for vice presidents and directors of human resources, the magazine provides these key decision-makers with news, profiles of HR visionaries and success stories of human resource innovators. Stories cover all areas of human resource management, including personnel, benefits, training and development, HR information systems, relocation, retirement planning, workplace security, and health care. More than 75,000 HR decision-makers currently receive the publication, which is published 16 times a year.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Equaterra Europe Ltd in the following categories: Education & Human Resources, for more information visit