With 85% of global organisations saying their talent management programmes need an overhaul - the effectiveness of HR departments in general comes into question.

How effective are they really, and what are their strengths and weaknesses?

In Singapore, at least, the sector shines in managing corporate conflicts, but has displayed significant room for improvement in other areas.

This was the result of a global study conducted jointly by The RBL Group, and the University of Michigan, as reported by The Straits Times.

The 360-degree feedback study, involved 30,000 respondents worldwide and 2,006 respondents from more than 30 organisations in Singapore.

It highlighted that at a behavioural level, HR professionals were rated highest at ensuring that practices comply with government laws.

They were found adept at managing paradoxes in a work setting, like balancing the needs of employees and expectations of the customers and investors.

The lowest-rated behaviour was crafting the right organisational culture to deliver results.

This relative weakness explains the government's efforts to professionalise the sector by putting a qualification framework in place, said Darryl Wee, regional managing director of The RBL Group.

Local data in the study was derived from HR practitioners in three sectors: public service, locally grown companies and multinationals located in Singapore.

According to The Straits Times article, the study found that practitioners in the public service scored higher when it came to using technology and related tools to enhance the company's performance or recruit and retain staff.

They also scored well in their ability to use analytics and data to improve business decisions.

HR staff from multinationals, however, had higher scores as in being able to create a wholesome reward system for employees, including benefits, as well as work satisfaction.

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Unfortunately, the data did not bode well for HR practitioners in local firms, who scored low overall, and significantly lower in data analysis.

This suggests local firms need to strengthen their HR capabilities, and there are opportunities to learn from those in the multinationals and public service, Wee said, adding that the companies need to invest in their HR teams.

"Wee added that it was important for the companies to understand the expectations of external stakeholders such as customers and investors, and then understand how the HR strategy is going to support the overall growth of their company and its goals," the article stated.

It also highlighted that when shown the results of the study, companies here had a positive approach to the problem.

Having identified the gaps, they are now eager to plug those holes, Wee explained.

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