(From Business Wire) — With expectations that hiring activity will increase this year and next, HR departments at a large number of U.S. employers say that talent and performance management technology systems will be one of the most critical HR service delivery issues they will face in 2011, according to an annual survey conducted by Towers Watson, a global professional services company. The 14th annual survey on HR service delivery trends and practices also found that companies are planning to increase their spending on HR technology this year as they look for new ways to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. According to the Towers Watson survey, 41% of the 444 companies surveyed indicated talent/performance systems as one of their top three HR service delivery issues for 2011. Streamlining HR processes and systems was listed by 27% of the respondents, while 25% cited greater involvement in strategic business-driven issues as the other top three HR service delivery issues for this year. “As the economy continues to improve, the need for robust talent and performance management programs and enabling technologies has never been greater,” said Tom Keebler, global leader of Towers Watson’s HR Service Delivery and Technology practices. “Companies view talent and performance management technologies as a critical component of their workforce attraction and retention initiatives, and also as a way to enhance HR’s role in helping the business to meet its strategic goals.” Read more.