China-Based Companies Must Invest in Building HR Capacity to Compete

2010-11-23 20:26 1581

Lack of Institutionalized HR Development Threatens Companies' Continuing Growth

SHANGHAI, Nov. 24, 2010 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The competitive edge of many China-based companies is threatened by a significant shortfall in the capabilities of their human resources departments, according to a recent survey by Aon Hewitt, a global HR consulting firm with unique expertise in the China market. With companies across China and Asia identifying people as a major bottleneck in their corporate growth plans, and HR departments under pressure to deliver needed services to support companies' business objectives, development of HR capacity will be crucial over the next few years.

The Aon Hewitt survey data showed that relatively few companies have institutionalized processes for assessing and strengthening their HR capabilities. Among responding companies with workforces of more than 1,000:

  • Only 18% reported using HR competencies/capabilities as part of the performance management evaluation process within HR.
  • Only 27% use formal assessment tools to identify strengths and gaps in their HR capability.
  • Only 41% had implemented a formal HR training program.

"Many high growth companies that are making significant investments in their businesses tend to neglect HR. They need to focus more on providing 'HR for HR', i.e., making equivalent investments in their human resources functions in order for HR departments to help meet the needs of the business," said Dr. Piotr Bednarczuk, corporate transactions and transformations practice leader of Aon Hewitt Greater China.

Companies that were determined to be HR Excellence companies reported significantly higher rates of utilization for all of the assessment and training tools queried in the survey, with at least 75% of respondents reporting utilization in every area except for use of assessment tools to identify HR strengths and gaps.

About the HR Effectiveness in Greater China Survey

Aon Hewitt conducted this survey in July 2010, in both Chinese and English. It is designed to inspire reflection on current practices by HR professionals across China and to provide benchmarking data that will enable companies to identify their own areas of need. The 114 responding companies were asked to use a six-point scale to rate their own effectiveness across four main areas covered by the survey: HR strategy and governance, HR organization and delivery, HR processes, and HR capabilities, as well as to identify the leading workforce challenges they face. Companies were determined to be "HR Excellence" companies if they had an average rating of at least 4.5 across all four areas of the survey.

About Aon Hewitt

Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human capital consulting and outsourcing solutions. The company partners with organizations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges, and improve business performance. Aon Hewitt designs, implements, communicates and administers a wide range of human capital, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation and talent management strategies. With more than 29,000 professionals in 90 countries, Aon Hewitt makes the world a better place to work for clients and their employees. For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit

About Aon

Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human capital solutions and outsourcing. Through its more than 59,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to deliver distinctive client value via innovative and effective risk management and workforce productivity solutions. Aon's industry-leading global resources and technical expertise are delivered locally in over 120 countries. Named the world's best broker by Euromoney magazine's 2008, 2009 and 2010 Insurance Survey, Aon also ranked highest on Business Insurance's listing of the world's insurance brokers based on commercial retail, wholesale, reinsurance and personal lines brokerage revenues in 2008 and 2009. A.M. Best deemed Aon the number one insurance broker based on revenues in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Aon was voted best insurance intermediary 2007-2010, best reinsurance intermediary 2006-2010, best captives manager 2009-2010, and best employee benefits consulting firm 2007-2009 by the readers of Business Insurance. Visit for more information on Aon and to learn about Aon's global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

Source: Aon Hewitt
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