Why your talent acquisition strategy should include veterans…and 5 ways to help make it happen

Why your talent acquisition strategy should include veterans...and 5 ways to help make it happen

Posted by Robin Erickson, Ph.D. on May 21, 2015.

Would it surprise you to know that as recently as May 2013 more than half (55 percent) of employers surveyed weren’t participating in a recruiting initiative specifically aimed at veterans?1 I find it surprising because the case for hiring veterans is so compelling—it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do:

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“Trickle up” performance management

Team leaders should own this process

“Trickle up” performance management

Posted by Nathan Sloan on May 19, 2015.

When 90 percent of 3,300 business and HR leaders surveyed don’t believe performance management is a good use of their time (see Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report), a desire for change is apparent — and it’s underway. Many companies (89 percent of those same survey respondents) have recently changed or are planning to change their performance management system. Deloitte is no exception: An April 2015 Harvard Business Review article describes how we’re Reinventing Performance Management at Deloitte. We recognize that organizations differ in type of work, culture, etc. But we believe that the thinking and innovation behind the changes we’re making are what’s needed to reverse the dismal perception of performance management and transform it into the driver of business results it’s meant to be.

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Standing up a data analytics organization:

Where to start?

Standing up a data analytics organization: Where to start?

Posted by Jordan Wiggins, Don Miller and Jennifer Baldwin Koger on May 14, 2015.

Data analytics, the science of examining raw data (coming from anywhere internally or externally) with the purpose of drawing conclusions about that information, has been a hot topic for several years. Many companies are racing to develop analytics organizations and resources within their company. Others are tentative, uncertain whether the effort will yield measurable impact, actionable results, and actual benefits.

For most companies, the first challenge of data analytics is determining where to focus to generate specific insights, given a wealth of available data. Many case studies show how a particular function delivered well-applied analytics science to the business, but what does it take to build this capability and organization? Here are four ideas to get started.

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Addressing 2015’s No. 1 business challenge:

How are you keeping employees engaged and on board?

Addressing 2015’s No. 1 business challenge: How are you keeping employees engaged and on board?

Posted by Robin Erickson on May 7, 2015.

Culture and engagement issues rose sharply in prominence to become the No. 1 challenge identified in the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report. Nearly nine out of 10 (87 percent) of the 3,300+ business and HR leaders surveyed consider culture and engagement issues to be “important; 50 percent say they’re “very important” — double the results in 2014. While two-thirds (66 percent) of HR respondents say they’re working on the problem by updating their retention and engagement strategy, the remainder (34 percent) report their strategy is outdated or nonexistent.

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Engaging office design

bzi_foc_glb_ho_2215Posted by Don Miller on May 1, 2015.

With businesses around the world citing culture and engagement as one of their top challenges (see Culture and engagement: The naked organization), office design is being considered as a multifaceted organization design solution. Companies are looking to their workplace environment not only to entice and retain talent (particularly Millennial talent) and support their employment brand but also strengthen communication, collaboration, and employee satisfaction — which could ultimately lead to improved customer service and stronger business performance. “Open plan” office designs have been around for many years, but they are enjoying a new resurgence, perhaps because they are closely associated with tech- and innovation-driven companies of all sizes — from recognized global giants to high-potential startups. But is the trend right for your organization?

Open office design is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. While design can enhance organizational efficiency and performance, it can equally impede these outcomes when floor plans do not align with a company’s culture and capabilities, or enhance employee productivity and morale.

Some potential problems in open offices:

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Accelerated change?

The response is accelerated learning

Accelerated change? The response is accelerated learning

Posted by John Hagel III and Andrew Reeves on April 20, 2015.

Almost all of us remember at least one disruptive child in our elementary school class that stormed out of the room because he or she didn’t want to learn. But, do you ever remember seeing someone storm out of the room because they weren’t learning fast enough? Today’s businesses are under pressure. The Big Shift, fueled by ongoing advances in core digital technologies (computing, storage, and bandwidth) and the general trend toward public policy liberalization, consistently increases the power of individuals and intensifies performance pressures for companies.1 In this constantly changing business landscape, learning becomes an imperative to keep up and move forward.

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Rethinking talent management

Part II: Reengaging contingent talent

Rethinking talent management part II: Reengaging contingent talent

Posted by Michael Gretczko on April 9, 2015.

In Rethinking Talent Management Part 1: The Rise of Contingent Talent, we proposed that the HR profession should rethink its definition of talent management to include the increasingly important contingent workforce as part of its total talent management strategy. In today’s post, we look at how HR can reengage with the contingent workforce after decades of being rather hands-off.

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If you build it, will they come? Overcoming the talent crisis in manufacturing

If you build it, will they come? Overcoming the talent crisis in manufacturing

Posted by Ben Dollar on March 25, 2015

Blog posts here on HR Times regularly discuss ways organizations can rethink and revamp their talent programs to better support business strategies and overcome workforce challenges. Today I’d like to broaden the discussion and look at talent strategies as a way to revitalize and protect the future of an entire industry — manufacturing.

First, let’s consider the importance of manufacturing to the US economy. Every job in manufacturing creates another 2.5 jobs in local goods and services1 and every dollar spent in manufacturing adds $1.37 to the American economy.2 Also consider that manufacturing employs 9 percent of the workforce, supporting more than 12 million workers directly and 17.4 million jobs in total. Taken alone, manufacturing in the United States would be the 9th largest economy in the world.3

These are impressive numbers. Manufacturing growth since the 2008 recession is also positive, as GDP attributed to manufacturing increased from 11.9 percent 2009 to 12.4 percent in 2013,4 and data projections suggest 400,000 jobs will be added between 2015 and 2020.5

At the same time, however, manufacturing faces significant challenges, all related to talent, including:

  • Sobering retirement demographics. Led by aging Baby Boomers, 2.7 million workers are expected to retire between 2015 and 2025. At the same time, over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be available in the United States.6 This is problematic because of the…
  • Lack of replacements. Manufacturing executives indicate that finding talent with required skills is challenging. Eighty-four percent of manufacturing executives polled in the Skills Gap study by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute agree there’s a talent shortage in US manufacturing, and they estimate that six out of 10 open skilled production position are unfilled due to the shortage. More troubling, the skills gap is expected to grow substantially over the next decade—2 million of those likely 3.5 million available jobs are expected to go unfilled. The shortage is acute in both skilled production workers and scientists, engineers, and researchers. High schools, trade schools, and colleges are not producing skilled workers fast enough to fill the gap. And the gap is significant: 70 percent of surveyed executives report their current workers do not have adequate technology and computer skills.7
  • Negative perception. Perceptual issues compound the supply problem. An outdated image of the industry as “dirty, dumb, dangerous, and disappearing”8 persists, rather than the more accurate picture of manufacturing as a modern economic engine that drives more innovation (three-quarters) than any other private-sector industry.9 Only 22 percent of Millennials surveyed globally view manufacturing as a desirable sector for employment.10
  • “Brain drain.” The combination of people retiring or leaving manufacturing to pursue careers in other industries, jobs displaced from offshoring, and weak knowledge management practices has resulted in a significant loss of manufacturing knowledge that is not easily recovered.

Manufacturing is at an inflection point: Either close the skills gap to support growth and keep and create jobs in the United States or risk increasing reliance on offshore resources. This is no small challenge, and depends on workforce strategies built around elements well known to readers of the HR Times:

  • Managing the talent pipeline like a supply chain through analytics-driven approaches to workforce planning to identify needs and take action far in advance. Too many companies are forced to react late in the game and scramble to fill holes.
  • Fostering long-term career development and growth through innovative learning practices. experiential development, and creating cultures in which learning and knowledge sharing are highly rewarded.
  • Recruiting from new sources and with a fresh perspective on the skills needed and the candidates who might ultimately be successful on the job.
  • Taking advantage of the Open Talent Economy. to tap into multiple sources of talent. The use of contractors or other “off balance sheet” workers helps to create flexible cost structures and more agility in the face of market changes.
  • Considering recruiting and employment from a marketing perspective, paying attention to the employment brand as closely as the corporate brand. Social media has created more transparency into culture, and manufacturers should take advantage of the ability to reshape their employment brands.
  • Redesigning and reskilling the HR function to address what is becoming one of the most significant challenges manufacturing companies have faced in decades.

I’ve only touched on the situation here, but our recent article in Deloitte Review, Help wanted: American manufacturing competitiveness and the looming skills gap., examines these issues and potential solutions in depth.


Ben Dollar Ben Dollar is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital practice.

1Milken Institute and Economic Planning Institute.
2The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
3National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), “Facts about Manufacturing.”
4 Bureau of Economic Analysis, “Value added by industry as a percentage of gross domestic product,” April 25, 2014.
5Deloitte analysis based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
6Deloitte analysis based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Gallup survey.
7Deloitte and Manufacturing Institute’s 2014 Skills Gap Study.
8John Paul Williams, “How manufacturing can solve its own talent shortage crisis,” Industry Week, August 21, 2014.
9National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), “Facts about Manufacturing.”
10The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2015.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

Achieving sales performance improvement may lie beyond traditional sales compensation

Achieving sales performance improvement may lie beyond traditional sales compensation

Posted on March 16, 2015

Every year, Deloitte Consulting LLP surveys sales leaders about the state of their sales forces and sales compensation practices: Are they effective? Are they meeting targets? Are sales leaders satisfied with them? For the past three years, from 2012 to 2014, both achievement of targets and satisfaction with sales productivity have remained flat – hovering at or below 50 percent in both areas. This despite a majority of responding leaders (65 percent) who believe the economy has already recovered or would by the end of 2014.1 Are sales compensation practices to blame for the mismatch between a growing economy and the failure of sales forces to take advantage of the opportunity?

Incentive pay has historically been one of the primary motivational tools in a sales leaders’ tool box to drive behavior and results. But results of the 2014 survey may offer insights into other factors organizations should examine to improve sales performance. For example, the learning and development provided to sales representatives, how quotas are set and communicated, how sales representatives are selected and onboarded — these are just some of the elements that make up a broader sales performance ecosystem, along with sales compensation.

Read more about the 2014 survey results, the trends revealed over time, and the factors that influence sales performance in our newest survey report: Great sales expectations: The growing gap between sales force expectations and the influence traditional sales compensation has on performance.

1http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/human-capital/articles/sales-compensation-survey.html

Leading in the new world of work: Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends

Leading in the new world of work: Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends

Posted by Josh Bersin on March 5, 2015

This week we officially launched one of the largest-ever longitudinal studies of talent trends and readiness around the world: Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2015. More than 3,300 companies from 106 countries participated, and the results are staggering. In this year’s report, we explore 10 major trends that emerged from our research, which reflect four major themes: leading, engaging, reinventing, and reimagining.

The bottom line is pretty simple: We are all living in a “New World of Work” — one that is always-on 24×7, operates at lightning speed, and in which the team takes precedence over the organization. When we enjoy our team and we operate well as a team, we thrive. When the leaders are weak or the team is not aligned, we feel overwhelmed and overworked.

Part of this new world is a flood of information, technology, and data. HR teams have the opportunity to help us simplify our lives, simplify their own programs, use data to make decisions, and innovate. Traditional practices like performance management are being left in the dust as we embrace agile, feedback-rich systems that let us talk to each other, set and reset goals, and collaborate more easily.

Part of this new world is the “continuous learning organization”— one where each of us can learn what we need to know, when we need it. This means companies should redesign the learning experience as they simplify HR.

A large team of us spent many months interviewing, surveying, and meeting with companies around the world to do this research. We were surprised at how hard HR teams are working to keep up — and how many of them feel behind. This is an exciting time for business and HR leaders, as the work equation has changed. We have to focus on engagement, empowerment, and environment — to make jobs enjoyable, achievable, and rewarding.

Here are the 10 big trends we identified this year, with some data on the priority of each. Please review our online data dashboard to look at specific data and detailed analysis in your industry or geography.

Fig 1: The Ten Global Trends Shaping Corporate Talent in 2015

Each of these trends is discussed in detail in the report, along with company capabilities, trends, leading practices, and examples of world-class solutions.

Top Findings:

1. Culture, engagement, and retention is now the No. 1 issue around the world. Eighty-seven percent of companies surveyed rate this a high-priority problem and 50 percent rate it urgent. Company readiness to deal with this issue has dropped by 43 percent year over year, and today approximately half the companies we surveyed believe they are unable to drive the desired culture in their organizations.

I’ve written extensively on this topic, and the big message is that engagement is now central to everything we do as managers and leaders. If we can’t build a company that attracts and inspires people, we will likely lose them to our competition. (Read The Simply Irresistible Organization for more on this topic.)

The research also points out the biggest contributors to engagement, and they vary by industry. As I discuss in the Simply Irresistible model, leadership, management practices, work flexibility, and learning opportunities are highly correlated with engagement and retention, and in retail, hospitality, and services, diversity is as well. Interestingly, the skills of HR are highly correlated with strong employee engagement — so all of these various trends are connected.

2. Gaps in the leadership pipeline remain an urgent issue, and there has been almost no progress from prior years. 87 percent of surveyed companies rate this important and 51 percent rate it urgent. Despite the fact that leadership development spending increased by 14 percent last year, only one-third of companies have programs focused on Millennials, and overall capability dropped by about 18 percent.

There are essentially “haves” and “have nots” in leadership — our assessment is that companies that continuously invest in modern (reengineered) leadership programs far outperform their peers. Companies at maturity Level 4 are spending three to four times as much as Level 1 maturity companies, and the gap remains large.

3. Corporate training and learning is now “in the spotlight.” The importance of learning has jumped from the No. 8 to the No. 3 issue, and capabilities to meet desired needs plummeted by more than 200 percent.

The training industry is in the middle of a renaissance, and companies should reengineer their employee learning experience to give people the equivalent of the on-demand, highly engaging materials (and access to experts) they can get on the public Internet. Building a culture of learning, creating a modern digital learning experience, and bringing experts to help teach is now critical to business success.

4. Performance management is now being reengineered at an accelerated rate. More than half the companies we surveyed are reengineering or have recently reengineered their performance practices. This is a radical trend: Performance management, goal setting, and ratings, or lack thereof, are at the center of the way we manage people. They define how we pay people, promote them, develop them, and move them.

After years of trying to build top-down, hierarchical, forced rankings to evaluate people, the world is shifting toward a feedback-centric, agile, strengths-based approach. The data prove that companies that modernize their performance management process see 20–30 percent higher engagement and dramatic improvements in retention. And performance goes up, too.

5. The skills of HR professionals are lagging behind at an accelerating rate. The data show that HR skills are the fourth highest issue (80 percent rate this important and 39 percent rate it urgent), and business leaders rate HR 20 percent lower than they rate themselves.

HR as a function rated itself a 1.65 on a 5.0 scale (a C- at best) and business leaders rated HR a 1.35 (a D+) — almost 20 percent lower. This is not for a lack of dedication and effort; it is likely a problem of skills and often the wrong people in these jobs. Many of today’s HR functions are not functioning well, and the problem may be the people, not the technology. Only 11 percent of companies have robust development programs for HR, and self-ratings for HR have barely budged in three years.

Our research also shows that nearly one-third of new CHROs are coming from the business, so there is now immense pressure to build what we call “Bold HR” — a function that can reinvent itself, start with a fresh sheet of paper, adopt technology as a tool (not a solution in itself), and boldly innovate and consult with business leaders.

6. People analytics seem to be stuck in neutral. Despite the fact that HR professionals all over the world are excited about Big Data and analytics (read The Geeks are Coming to HR for more on this topic), our research shows little to no progress in maturity since last year.

Vendors are offering new analytics tools like candy, but HR departments are generally still not able to use them because underlying infrastructure and data quality remain issues. The problem is not only replacing the technology (only 11 percent of our respondents have implemented full cloud technology!) but also making the multi-year investment to create a serious “people analytics” function.

7. Simplification is becoming the new mantra. Finally, as we looked at the 2014 trends, we realized that what was The Overwhelmed Employee in 2014 is now “The Need to Simplify Work” in 2015. Our research shows that more than half the companies we surveyed believe their work environment is “highly complex” and nearly half still suffer from the overwhelming complexity of the environment.

Complexity creates cost, reduces engagement, and hurts productivity. One of our mandates for HR in 2015 is to “think simple” and practice design thinking, as we describe in detail throughout the report.

2015: Time to Be Bold

Despite all of these challenges, the research shows tremendous innovation and progress in all 10 trends. We don’t mean to sound overly negative here — we see amazing new solutions in companies of all sizes, and the report details some inspiring examples of new strategies to deal with these problems.

The big issue is one of focus: In 2015, as the economy grows and Millennials take over companies, HR has to “be bold” and get serious about recreating its solutions, consulting with a closer relationship to the business, and leveraging data and technology for business solutions— not just “creating great service.”

I look forward to your feedback on this research. Please visit our online data visualization dashboard to view data in your industry and geography.

predictions for 2015


Josh Bersin Josh Bersin Josh Bersin is the founder and a principal of Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP, a leading research and advisory firm focused on corporate leadership, talent, learning, and the intersection between work and life. Josh is a published author on Forbes, is a LinkedIn Influencer, has appeared on Bloomberg, NPR, and The Wall Street Journal, and speaks at industry conferences and to corporate HR departments around the world. You can contact Josh on twitter at @josh_bersin and follow him at Linkedin. Josh’s personal blog is at http://www.joshbersin.com.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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