The CEB Global Assessment Trends Report is based on a survey of more than 1,400 HR professionals worldwide. It found that the next most pressing concern for HR departments is cultivating strong leaders (54%).
The report also looks at the areas where HR professionals intend to increase spending over the coming years.
It suggests that 32% view training as the area they are most likely to strengthen. This is followed by identifying high-potential talent (28%). Only 22% anticipate putting extra resources into hiring external talent.
CEB VP for product development and innovation Ken Lahti told HR magazine employers are looking to shift into "growth mode" during the global recovery.
"A huge part of this will be development," he said. "Most business challenges are related to talent in some way. HR is relatively good at taking business issues and translating them into corresponding people issues."
Three-quarters (75%) of companies see collecting useful data on internal talent as an important part of achieving their goals, according to the research. However, only 25% are happy with their company's ability to do this.
This can make employers vulnerable during periods of growth, according to Lahti.
"Without this, HR is unable to provide accurate insight into the health and readiness of the workforce and may miss opportunities to help accelerate business growth by acquiring and developing top talent," he said.