Recruiting: Renaissance or retreat?

Recruiting: Renaissance or retreat?
Posted by Art Mazor and Gary Johnsen on January 27, 2015

Talk to an executive or read the business journals and you’ll likely find that one of the most taxing and challenging issues facing organizations today is the attraction and acquisition of skilled talent. Confirmed in Deloitte’s 2014 Business Confidence Report, C-level leaders named the shortage of skilled workers as one of their top obstacles to growth. This was validated again in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report, which identified recruiting as one of the respondents’ topmost urgent needs. A clear majority (72 percent) of the 2500 leaders from 90 countries who participated in the survey realized and reported that recruiting is an urgent and important challenge for their organizations. Unfortunately, HR may not be ready to address this urgent need. Forty-three percent of those surveyed business executives pointed out that their HR function was not ready to answer this critical 21st century challenge. Even more, recruiting is perceived as underperforming by an overwhelming 65 percent of those same surveyed leaders. As distressing as these trends are, they could be reversed: Companies could address what ails recruiting and a recruiting renaissance could occur.

To understand where HR should begin to focus and start a recruiting transformation, we need to look beyond the statistics and trends data and witness them come to life in a real story — an actual candidate’s experience with the recruiting system and process. John’s (not his real name) story gives deeper meaning to the statistics and personalizes the struggles of the recruiting function, along with providing lessons and insights for recruiting leaders about the priorities and potential quick wins for recruiting transformation.

After 18 years as a military officer, John decided to transition to the civilian workforce. While he secured employment, his re-entry into the private labor force was marred by a number of recruiting missteps, blunders, and process inefficiencies. The good news: the issues can be fixed. Here are a few of the lessons to be learned from John’s experiences.

  • Lesson Learned 1: Don’t let machines overtake the personal side of sourcing and recruiting. The benefits of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) in handling online job postings, applications, assessments, and requisition management are clearly defined in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. But John’s experience included technology tools replacing people and many impersonal, form-driven responses that presented organizations as cold, aloof, and distant in an age of relationships and personalization. Think about how your organization can take advantage of technology without losing the human element inherent in the employee-employer relationship. Social media and industry network groups present opportunities to enhance the connection with candidates.
  • Lesson Learned 2: Don’t stigmatize the unemployed as unemployable. Many talented people count themselves as part of the fallout of the economic downturn. Though, as a new veteran, John’s situation was slightly different, he still experienced subtle but present bias to his unemployment status, with questions around his work ethic, networking abilities, and desire for employment. Even though he sent out numerous resumes each week, attended job fairs and networking events, and actively interviewed throughout the months of his career transition, he got indirect messages from employers that he was not quite the same as an active employee seeking a job change, because he was unemployed. Deloitte and The Rockefeller Foundation, in support of the White House National Economic Council, have put together these two handbooks for employers and job seekers as a helpful resource to understand and counteract these biases.
  • Lesson Learned 3: Follow through on commitments; tap into candidate relationship management. John recalls countless recruiters making commitments to call him back or managers saying they’d be making hiring decisions in a few days, with no follow-through. For John, hearing something, even “no,” was better than going into a black hole and hearing nothing. He often chased recruiters and managers, felt he invested time in their companies, and yet experienced delayed or no follow-up to his inquiries about the companies’ promise to be in touch with him. How is your organization handling candidate communications? Are you tapping into technology tools to help manage the process, while still serving the broader need for relationship-building?
  • Lesson Learned 4: Shorten the end-to-end cycle time. John experienced days turning into weeks and sometimes weeks turning into months. In our fast-paced society, everything is moving faster; this should include the recruiting cycle. Redesigning the processes, updating technology, incorporating newer techniques like video conferencing and recorded video responses as part of accelerating the initial screening interactions, and investing in recruiting resources can all shave time off the recruiting cycle and get needed talent on board sooner.>
  • Lesson Learned 5: Invest in recruiting. John encountered many overwhelmed and stressed recruiters. The recruiters shared their stories of managing large number of requisitions, heavy workloads, and little downtime for development and training. In Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2014, 57 percent of surveyed leaders stated their organizations are weak in addressing workloads and schedules. John heard two recruiters tell him they were managing upwards of 150 active professional-level requisitions at one time. If recruiting is one of an organization’s marketing channels into the marketplace, why under-invest in the recruiting resource team? This can make a bad first impression to potential future employees. Instead, how can you use the recruiting experience as a marketing tool to position your organization as an employer of choice?

John’s experience confirms what surveyed leaders tell us themselves: Recruiting isn’t working as it should. Old ways of recruiting are often ineffective, causing organizations who cling to them to lose out on valuable talent. This is an issue keeping many CEOs up at night, and keeping many organizations from securing the talent to drive their business plans. Based on the 65 percent of surveyed leaders who view recruiting as underperforming, HR leaders have received their mandate: It’s time to think strategically about revitalizing the recruiting function, both with short-term fixes and long-term transformation initiatives.


Art Mazor Art Mazor is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital practice. He collaborates with complex, global clients across industries to transform Human Resource strategy, service delivery, and organizations with a business-driven focus.
GaryJohnsen Gary Johnsen is a specialist leader in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital practice. He has a passion for building the intersection between business and people strategy, helping organizations design and implement HR operating models, practices, structures and processes that drive meeting business strategy.

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.

2015 Millennial Survey gives insight to inform leadership and talent agendas

2015 Millennial Survey

Understanding how Millennials perceive businesses and what they expect from them is critical to engaging and attracting this workforce of the future. More than 7,800 Millennials in 29 global emerging and developed markets contributed their views to Deloitte’s fourth annual Millennial Survey. Their responses reveal a mix of positive and negative perceptions about business, with this overarching message: Business needs to reset its purpose to attract Millennials.

The survey results suggest businesses, particularly in developed markets, need to make significant changes to attract and retain the future workforce. On the plus side: 73 percent of Millennials surveyed believe that businesses are having a positive impact. This was especially true in the emerging markets of Indonesia (98 percent), Philippines (91 percent), India (90 percent), China (89 percent), and Mexico (89 percent). However, the highest number of respondents reporting a negative business impact on society came from developed markets: Germany (66 percent), Belgium (59 percent), France (56 percent), Japan (55 percent), and Italy (44 percent).

Also on the plus side, 61 percent of respondents believe many businesses take a strong leadership position on issues that impact wider society—showing even stronger leadership on important social issues than governments. However, an overwhelming 75 percent of those surveyed also question businesses’ motivation, believing many focus on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society. Instead, respondents believe business should focus on people and purpose, not just products and profits.

“The message is clear: When looking at their career goals, today’s Millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people and how it contributes to society as they are in its products and profits,” said Barry Salzberg, CEO of Deloitte Global. “These findings should be viewed as a wake-up call to the business community, particularly in developed markets, that they need to change the way they engage Millennial talent or risk being left behind.”

Only 28 percent of Millennials feel their current organization is making full use of their skills. More than half (53 percent) aspire to become the leader or most senior executive within their current organization, with a clear ambition gap between Millennials in emerging markets and developed markets. Sixty-five percent of emerging-market-based Millennials said they would like to achieve this goal, compared to only 38 percent in developed markets. This figure was also higher among men.

Additionally, the survey found large global businesses have less appeal for Millennials in developed markets (35 percent) compared to emerging markets (51 percent). Developed-market-based Millennials are also less inclined (11 percent) than Millennials in emerging markets (22 percent) to start their own business.

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • Millennials want to work for organizations with purpose. For six in 10 Millennials, a “sense of purpose,” is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employers.
  • Technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) are the most attractive employers. TMT ranked most desirable sector and the one to provide the most valuable skills according to Millennials. Men (24 percent) were nearly twice as likely as women (13 percent) to rank TMT as the number one sector to work in. Google and Apple top the list of businesses that most resonated with Millennials as leaders, each selected by 11 percent of respondents.
  • Confidence Gap? Millennial men more likely to pursue leadership. Millennial men were somewhat more likely to say they would like to secure the “top job” within their organization than women (59 percent vs. 47 percent). Women were also less likely to rank their leadership skills at graduation as strong; 27 percent of men vs. 21 percent of women rated this skill as strong. However, when asked what they would emphasize as leaders women were more likely to say employee growth and development (34 percent compared to 30 percent), an area that many Millennials felt was lacking within their current organizations.
  • Organizations and colleges must do more to nurture emerging leaders. When asked to estimate the contributions that skills gained in higher education made to achievement of their organization’s goals, Millennials’ average figure is 37 percent.
  • The changing characteristics of leadership. Today’s Millennials place less value on visible (19 percent), well-networked (17 percent), and technically skilled (17 percent) leaders. Instead, they define true leaders as strategic thinkers (39 percent), inspirational (37 percent), personable (34 percent) and visionary (31 percent).

“Millennials want more from business than might have been the case 50, 20, or even 10 years ago,” said Salzberg. “They are sending a very strong signal to the world’s leaders that when doing business, they should do so with purpose. The pursuit of this different and better way of operating in the 21st century begins by redefining leadership.”

To access the full report and explore infographics about the survey, please visit: www.deloitte.com/millennialsurvey.


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.

Talent strategies for 2015: The world has changed

Talent Survey

Posted by Josh Bersin on January 09, 2015

This year, 2015, is shaping up to be a big year: low unemployment, low oil prices, many tech companies to go public, and growth expectations for most businesses.

While the business world expands, the world of talent has completely shifted.

This year our Talent and HR predictions for 2015 has some important new ideas to consider — in this article I will give you some highlights, and you can download the report here.

Top Line: Changes are Ahead

Our entire workplace has changed, and so has the way we attract, manage, and empower people. The three themes I have for the year are Engagement, Empowerment, and Environment. Engage people in our mission and strategy; empower and develop people to perform and thrive; create an environment of simplicity and productivity.

predictions for 2015

Thinking back over my 35 years as a working professional, I barely recognize what work is like today. I was joking with my children about how I used to go to work with a briefcase filled with papers; there were no computers, no voicemail, and only an office of people and a telephone to work with. We had a steno pool (people who typed letters for us), and I had an old-fashioned boss who sat in the corner office with his tie on and his jacket buttoned. He was really a wonderful manager, but it was all about “doing your job” and getting a good performance appraisal.

Today we work at home, in coffee shops, on airplanes, and often late at night. We interact with people all over the world easily, and we have tools and technologies at our fingertips to find information, write, communicate, and analyze data like never before. And thanks to the growth of cognitive computing technologies, we may all soon have thinking machines in our phones, machines that monitor where we are, what work to do, what customer problems to solve, and even what HR problems to address.

Much of this transition has been positive, but much has also been difficult. Many of us are “overwhelmed employees” and our research shows that employee engagement and retention is at an all-time low.While many people are still looking for work, more and more people are getting fed up with the 24/7 work environment around us, so they go to social websites like LinkedIn or Glassdoor, and jobs are offered to them.

The concepts of “integrated talent management” are rapidly changing, with many HR practices being reinvented. In fact I’d say that talent management as we’ve known it over the last 10 years is about to go away and be reinvented, with a focus on what I call Engagement, Experience, and Environment. (Read my latest article “Is Corporate Talent Management Dead?“ if you want more on that topic in particular.)

The 10 predictions we write about for 2015 cover topics from employee engagement to new technologies for HR, a whole new focus on culture, renewed strategies to develop leadership, and the need to revitalize HR and invest much more heavily in analytics. But overall the big trend is this: Almost everything we’ve done traditionally in HR has to be adjusted (or re-engineered). The younger, more mobile, more agile workforce and workplace we now live in demand new approaches: flexible work policies, more focus on empowerment and skills development, a more humane work environment, and both financial and workplace benefits that are locally relevant.

As we look at 2015, we see five fundamental shifts that dramatically impact corporate talent, leadership, and HR strategies.

1. Technology has removed the barrier between work and life.

Companies have to focus on culture, environment, and simplification.

We are working all the time, emails and messages are arriving 24/7, and information, conversations, and content are literally streaming at us wherever we go. The work “environment” we live in today is radically different: People work wherever they want, leading to a huge wave of open offices; over-work is a tremendous challenge, and people are not sure how to deal with the overwhelming amount of information they receive each day. Design thinking, simplification, and ease of use are the new mantras for corporate talent programs.

2. Employee engagement, culture, and leadership are lifeline issues.

Glassdoor data shows a split in companies. There is a huge segment of companies who are “highly engaged” and a similarly large number of companies whose employees are ”actively disengaged.” The highly engaged companies are attracting the best people, delivering greater customer service, and innovating better. These companies are focused on mission, culture, and leadership — and they understand that people are not “talent,: they are people — with their own personal needs and aspirations.

This focus on engagement has impacted everything we do, because ultimately employee engagement is all a business has. Companies have to rethink their coaching and development strategies, their career mobility strategies, and how they develop and select leaders. Today’s leader focuses on “building a highly engaged team” not just “delivering on business results.”

Unfortunately our research shows that the gaps in corporate leadership are wider than ever. Research by Deloitte and others (highlighted in the report) will show you how leadership development, assessment, and coaching has to be a top focus for 2015.

3. Learning, capabilities, and skills are the currency of success.

From both an individual and organizational standpoint, technical and professional capabilities are now the currency of success. If you can attract or develop better scientists, engineers, sales people, or functional experts, you will likely beat your competition. And once you attract these people, you must give them a compelling learning environment to stay current, as technology advances at an accelerating rate. L&D organizations and strategies have not kept up, and we are in an era where corporate learning is going through as much change as we witnessed in the early 2000s when e-learning hit the scene.

4. HR as a function is at a crossroads and must reinvent itself.

Underlying most of these issues is the need to reskill and re-energize HR. It’s interesting that the US organizations SHRM and HCI are now competing to sell HR certifications. The problem is not one of certification; it’s one of redefining what HR professionals do. Company after company I talk with is going through a restructure of their HR team, moving HR closer to the business, and reskilling generalists into finely tuned business consultants. I believe this is a decade-long transition taking place within the HR function.

5. Data is now integral to all decisions HR must make.

Finally, we are entering a talent world where people data is now central to every decision we make. Organizations that are investing in analytics teams, analytics tools, and analytics expertise are going to far outperform their peers. Who to hire, who to promote, how much to pay, how to develop, what next job to take — all these decisions are now “data enabled,” and we expect HR technology, which is becoming more integrated every day, to become more and more like “instrumentation of your organization”— giving you data to improve organizational performance every day.

Read our predictions and join me on our webinar on Friday, January 23, 2015, at 2PM EST. (Register Here.)

This is my 11th year writing the Bersin Predictions for the coming year, and I think the changes ahead are more transformational than ever before. I hope you find the report educational, inspiring, and helpful as you plan your year. I am thankful to the world community of talent and HR leaders I get to work with every day.

And as always I look forward to your comments and feedback. (Click here to download report.)

predictions for 2015


Josh Bersin Josh Bersin is a principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP, delivering analytics, research and tools that employers use as a foundation for day-to-day decision making. He has worked with hundreds of companies to help them deliver high impact employee learning, leadership development and talent management

1 Global Human Capital Trends 2014: Engaging the 21st-century workforce, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Bersin By Deloitte, Deloitte University Press, April 2014

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.

Rethinking talent management

Part I: The rise of contingent talent

Talent Management

Posted by Michael Gretczko and John J. Gillen on December 3, 2014.

HR’s identity is built around managing the people side of the business — recruiting, hiring, developing, and retaining the workforce needed to keep the organization up and running. But now that workforce is fundamentally changing. Contingent workers — “non-employees” not legally employed by the companies they work for — make up close to 20% of the workforce, and their numbers are growing at a brisk pace.1 What does this mean for organizational talent management overall and for HR specifically? We’ll explore this trend and its implications over three posts; this one on the rise of contingent talent, the second considering the need for HR to reengage with the non-employee workforce, and the third looking at ways some new freelance management systems (FMS) are changing the way talent is acquired, assigned, managed and rated.

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Passion in need of a champion

The best workers will find their own way, but if you want your organization to thrive, supporting them has to be a priority

DUP825

Posted by John Hagel III on November 13, 2014

“I never ask for permission. I just do it.”

“I get restless often.”

“I want my work to make an impact on something important to society.”

“I have a series of mini-failures every day.”

“I like to know that what I’m doing matters to the company.”

“I don’t want to do anything that I can’t learn from.”

For an HR executive, these statements pose a challenge. How does your organization treat people who might make these statements or operate with these beliefs? Does your performance management system recognize or penalize them? Does management encourage this type of employee or view them with suspicion or perhaps, unwittingly—as is often the case—do the daily processes and policies of the organization subtly discourage these behaviors, wearing the employee down bit by bit or sending a message that they belong elsewhere?

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HR Chargebacks: Avoiding the pitfalls, realizing the benefits

HR Chargebacks

Posted by Art Mazor and Gary Johnsen on October 30, 2014

In Part I of our discussion of HR chargebacks, we noted that chargebacks are a natural step in the evolution of HR from a purely transactional function to a strategic partner with the business. Done well, chargeback programs can offer a number of benefits — HR clarity, efficiency, cost control, and more. Done poorly, the desire to add accountability and alignment to HR costs and programs can backfire. Here in Part II, we explore some of the ways to execute chargebacks effectively.

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How a small business unit achieved a 99% participation rate in its employee survey—and actually did something with the results

Talent Survey

Posted by Nicolay Worren on October 28, 2014

Employees are asked about all kinds of things, in meetings, interviews, and “official” surveys. But is anybody actually listening to them or using their ideas? If not, why are we asking? “Sham participation” is demoralizing to employees and inefficient for the organization.

Of course, leaders have the option of making decisions without consulting others. Most employees fully understand they can’t be consulted on everything, and accept that somebody needs to make a decision. So do that if you don’t really intend to incorporate feedback into your decision process. It will save time for everybody.

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HR Chargebacks: An important step in HR’s journey

Businessman in Conference Room

Posted by Art Mazor and Gary Johnsen on October 23, 2014

As HR finds its seat at the business table, it faces increasing scrutiny to demonstrate, like its counterparts around that table, how HR contributes to the business strategy and objectives.This scrutiny is good for HR in that it moves the function further from a purely transactional cost center to a strategic business partner. It also forces HR to be more accountable for how it manages the business of HR and aligns the cost of its operations and programs to business objectives. A chargeback process is a common “go to” approach for providing visibility into internal or shared costs and increasing accountability for cost management, yet can bring a mixture of benefits and pitfalls if not designed and implemented properly.

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“I know the perfect person…”

Boosting recruiting and retention through employee referral programs

Talent Referral

Posted by Robin Erickson on October 21, 2014

Tapping current employees to source new candidates is a viable recruiting strategy for many reasons: high return on investment (Bersin research found that 9 percent of the overall spend for sourcing went to employee referrals, delivering 16 percent of new hires1 ); good cultural fit (employees tend to refer candidates with similar skills and attributes); access to specialized or hard-to-find skills (people typically network with others in similar roles); and long-term effectiveness (one study showed a 42 percent retention rate after three years for employees hired through employee referral programs vs.32 percent for employees hired through job boards and 14 percent for career site hires2).

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Are you missing out on a rich source of needed talent?

The case for hiring the long-term unemployed

Stay focused

Posted by Alice Kwan and Danielle Hawkins on October 16, 2014

There’s a very good chance your organization is turning away viable, high-quality candidates for one reason: They’ve been looking for work longer than other candidates.

As of August 2014, 3 million Americans1 of all ages, ethnicities, geographies, industries, and education and experience levels are considered long-term unemployed (LTU), meaning they have been actively seeking work for more than 27 weeks without success. The LTU apply to 3.5 times more jobs than recently unemployed job seekers, yet receive 45 percent fewer callbacks for interviews.2 Evidence shows no difference in capability or quality of work produced between the LTU and the recently unemployed,3 yet the stigma associated with lengthy employment gaps persists.

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