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.

Recruiting the IT worker of the future

Recruiting the IT worker of the future

Posted by John Stefanchik, Judy Pennington and Catherine Bannister on February 25, 2015

Advances in enterprise technologies are giving rise to improved opportunities, new business models, and innovation.

They are also creating IT staffing headaches.

As we examine in the 2015 edition of Deloitte Consulting LLP’s annual Tech Trends report, scarcity of technical talent is becoming a significant concern across many industries, with some organizations facing talent gaps along multiple fronts. This challenge is expected to grow: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that one million programming jobs in the United States will go unfilled by 2020.1

To secure the talent necessary to compete in an era of technology-driven opportunity, companies will need to recruit and, in many cases, cultivate a new type of employee—the IT worker of the future—who has habits, incentives, and skills that are inherently different from those in play today.

Given that competition in the talent marketplace for such workers is only increasing, HR leaders should consider taking the following innovative approaches to staffing:

Recruit differently. Increasingly, innovative companies are deploying unorthodox approaches to recruit fresh talent. For example, externships—training programs typically offered by schools and private businesses to provide practical experience in a given field—can put promising candidates to work quickly. They can also be used to vet the transfer of individuals within and across your organization—a “try before you decide” method that can enable both parties to understand aptitude, fit, and interest.

Similarly, some companies are hosting internal and external “hackathons,” day- or weekend-long competitions in which participants rapidly explore, prototype, and demo ideas. Hiring decisions can be based on demonstrated results instead of on resume depth and the ability to navigate a round of interviews.

Finally, consider training employees with no technical background—38 percent of recruiters are actively doing so to fill IT positions.2 Graphic designers, artists, cultural anthropologists, behavioral psychologists, and other backgrounds are building blocks for user experience, mobile, data science, and other desperately needed skills.

Light your talent beacon. An estimated 70 percent of Millennials learn about job opportunities from friends.3 Enlist your own people to help play a critical role in attracting the IT workers of the future by clearly communicating your vision for the IT organization, and investing in incentives to drive retention and referrals.

Look outside the organization. Though employee referrals can help attract top talent, they are only one piece of the staffing puzzle: Organizations should also consider participating in external talent ecosystems. Start by defining a crowdsourcing strategy that guides the use of crowd platforms to solve your organization’s staffing problems, and give employees permission to participate in crowd contests, on the job or off the clock. Additionally, identify incubators and start-up collaboration spaces that are looking for corporate sponsors. These situations often provide opportunities to co-locate workers with inventors and entrepreneurs exploring new ground. Finally, seek out briefings and ideation sessions with your vendor and partner community to harness software, hardware, systems integrator, and business partner thinking and research.

To meet IT staffing challenges going forward, HR may need to broadly shift its focus from people and policy administration to talent attraction and development. This will not be easy, but it will likely be worth the effort. By spending your energy attracting, challenging, and rewarding the right kind of talent instead of succumbing to legacy organizational constructs that are no longer relevant, you can help unleash the IT worker of the future in your business.

To learn more about the steps HR can take to recruit and cultivate top IT talent, check out Deloitte Consulting LLP’s 2015 Tech Trends Report.


John Stefanchik John Stefanchik is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP. As a technologist, he assists clients in tackling complex custom development and integration challenges.
Judy Pennington Judy Pennington is a director in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital practice with over 25 years of experience working at the intersection of people and technology.
Catherine Bannister Catherine Bannister is a director in Deloitte Consulting LLP with 20 years of experience delivering technology solutions to public sector clients. She is the chief talent officer for the Technology service area, with leadership responsibilities for 18,000 consultants in the United States, India, and Mexico.

1 Christopher Mims, “Computer program¬ming is a trade; let’s act like it,” The Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2014, http://online.wsj.com/articles/computer-programming-is-a-trade-lets-act-like-it-1407109947, accessed November 10, 2014.2 Lindsay Rothfield, “How your company can attract top tech talent,” Mashable, June 28, 2014, http://mashable.com/2014/06/28/attract-tech-talent-infographic/, ac¬cessed November 10, 2014.3 Rothfield, “How your company can attract top tech talent.

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.

Bringing connected learning into the corporate environment

Bringing connected learning into the corporate environment

Posted by Dr. Preeta M. Banerjee on February 20, 2015

Companies that can consistently attract, develop, and keep high performers will likely be those that lead us forward. One of the most effective ways companies can do this will be to offer prospective employees not just a salary, but a unique development opportunity. We foresee that managing and capitalizing on talent will be an integrated, firm-wide endeavor balancing business goals and individual personal development objectives. Technology’s role in this near-future environment will be important, better enabling senior management to accelerate the rate at which organizational capabilities are both developed and permanently instilled in an organization – transforming corporate learning as we now know it. As educational technology (ed-tech) providers continue to develop next-generation solutions, organizations should match their pace and become more engaged partners in the evolution of their corporate learning solutions and their employees’ careers.

Organizations across the U.S. spent $1,169 per learner, on average, on learning and development (L&D) initiatives in 2013.1 This figure varies by company size and industry. Technology companies, for example, spent $1,847 per learner, on average—one of the highest of any industry sector.2 Tech firms (like Motorola Solutions, Adobe, IBM, and Xerox) have made large investments for training their teams to evolve from product sellers to solution and industry experts.3 Not surprisingly, technology firms are also among the leaders designing programs specifically for use on mobile devices, with 19 percent of learning assets mobile-enabled.4 As a case in point, Xerox Learning is working to tailor and orchestrate training content targeted at the growing mobile workforce (1.3 billion worldwide by 20135). Xerox Learning works with m-learning devices (handheld communications tools such as mobile and smart phones, PDAs, MP3/MP4 players, and gaming devices) to assess value potential of mobile learning programs through a five-step process that encompasses assessment and planning, technology implementation, content delivery, support, and measurement.6

Traditionally when developing corporate learning programs, HR professionals are often tasked with developing a “corporate learning strategy” and then developing (or contracting) the appropriate infrastructure build-out, designing (or purchasing) the requisite content, and matching employees to content after the fact. With a move to “connected learning,” the employee and their interests lie at the center of the strategy, requiring a flexible model that changes with employees and the times. As Mizuko Ito (Professor in Residence at UC Irvine) describes, connected learning is socially embedded, interest-driven, and oriented toward expanding educational, economic, or political opportunity; it is realized when a person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to career success. In connected corporate learning, instructors, mentors, managers, on-the-job opportunities, and HR professionals support the learner upon whom the model is based, not vice versa.7

Investing in connected corporate learning requires senior management and leadership to answer different questions than have been traditionally posed. These questions focus on striking an effective balance between organizational and individual’s goals, and how that dictates how connected an organization’s learning offering should be. The spectrum of connections ranges from networking with various ecosystem players (learner, instructors, etc.) to integrating the learning journey from K–12 through higher education and corporate learning to investing in technology solutions that aggregate the currently disparate collection of data and functionality that composes the education ecosystem.

For example, connected corporate learning need not stop at existing employees but can and should extend to potential — and perhaps former — employees. In our vision of 2021, we picture transformed learning roles, including an education coordinator (EC) or a computerized virtual assistant that helps groom prospective candidates by providing relevant job-readiness skills. By sharing pre-approved student information with an EC, students and educators can partner with organizations to efficiently close any skills gaps. The EC can serve as a recruitment instrument, providing custom learning plans encompassing unique or proprietary content and virtual reality games, experiential learning exercises, and interactive opportunities with professionals within a student’s approved network.

An organization’s future learning solution will likely serve as more than a skill refresher and become a source of enduring competitive advantage. Connected corporate learning is an opportunity for organizations to work with ed-tech providers to build flexible corporate learning programs that allow for all three types of connectors (across ecosystem, across the lifetime learning journey, and across technological functionality).

To learn more about connected learning, register here for our Feb 25 webcast discussion and read our recent publication on Digital Education 2.0: From content to connections.


Dr. Preeta M. Banerjee Dr. Preeta M. Banerjee is a senior manager in Deloitte Services LP and heads cross-sector Technology, Media, and Telecommunications research. Acknowledgements: Richard Merchant, Karthik Ramachandran

1 Karen O’Leonard, The Corporate Learning Factbook 2014, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting, January 2014
2 Karen O’Leonard, The Corporate Learning Factbook 2014, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting, January 2014
3 Karen O’Leonard, The Corporate Learning Factbook 2014, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting, January 2014
4 Karen O’Leonard, The Corporate Learning Factbook 2014, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting, January 2014
5 Stacy K. Crook, Justin Jaffe, Raymond Boggs, Stephen D. Drake Rise of Mobility, IDC, Dec 2011
6 Xerox Learning Services, Mobile learning: the time is now, 2015 http://www.xerox.com/downloads/services/white-paper/mobile-learning.pdf
7 Banerjee, PM, Belson, G. Digital Ed 2.0, Deloitte Review, January 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.

How do you find passion?

How do you find passion?

Posted by Tamara Samoylova and Maggie Wooll on February 09, 2015

At the Center for the Edge, we’ve been exploring the idea of worker passion for several years. In our papers, we’ve gone deeper into the attributes that define passion and how companies can cultivate that productive passion in their workforce. Yet, the one question we hear repeatedly is: “How do I find my passion?”

The question isn’t surprising given that today’s culture seems to be more aware of the need to be passionate about what you do. Blame it on the blurring of our personal and professional lives. As the world becomes more connected, so do our work, interests, and hobbies. We’re also experiencing mounting performance pressure that makes it increasingly difficult to just go to work to receive a paycheck. Add to that the continuous learning required to stay relevant, and time outside of the office is often needed to stay relevant and informed through building skills, participating in events, and cultivating a network. A “work to live” attitude isn’t enough when so many jobs demand this level of commitment, so it’s no wonder that individuals are looking for passion in their work now rather than merely tolerating a job now in hopes of finding something they love later.

What does being passionate mean? We define it with three attributes: Commitment to Domain—a desire to work in, and make a significant impact on, an area, industry, or function over an extended period of time; Questing Disposition—an orientation toward seeking out additional challenges and seeing these challenges as opportunities to learn and develop new skills; Connecting Disposition—an orientation toward developing deep, trust-based relationships with others with the intent to learn together and collaborate.

Individuals who demonstrate these attributes have what we call the Passion of the Explorer. Their orientation toward learning and performance improvement makes them more resilient and more open to the opportunities inherent in uncertainty.

If passion is so important, how can you find yours? We’ve tended to focus on what companies can do to cultivate passion in the workforce, but as individuals we can, and should, try to cultivate these attributes for ourselves.

To some extent, the questing and connecting dispositions tend to be innate—at least until educational or organizational structures discourage them. Think about a toddler playing with a new puzzle: not yet knowing the stigma of failure, he is not afraid to try different combinations until he finds one that works. In environments where failure is punished, experimentation and questing soon disappear. However individuals can start by adjusting their own attitudes about failure as part of the learning process rather than as negative experiences to be avoided. Similarly, individuals can strengthen their connecting disposition by building networks as a way to learn and overcome challenges rather than as a way to gain status. This implies a willingness to be open and vulnerable rather than focusing on power or influence.

While cultivating our questing and connecting dispositions can be challenging in today’s work environments, self-discipline in adjusting our attitudes can go a long way. For many of us, the bigger challenge is finding commitment to domain. How can I know what I want to dedicate myself to? What if I change my mind? Why does commitment to domain even matter?

Commitment to domain helps provide focus and endurance. Questers and connecters without commitment to domain are still valuable to companies, but they may dabble in too many things to develop expertise or jump ship for the next “shiny object” when the inevitable obstacles arise. Those who are deeply committed to making an impact can channel their questing and connecting activities toward longer-term goals that yield significant results.

For our report Passion at Work: Cultivating passion as the cornerstone of talent development we interviewed over a dozen high-performing individuals and identified two common paths to how they discovered their commitment to domain: early access to mentors or active participation in, and openness to, a diversity of knowledge flows.

Mentors as catalysts for finding your domain
Christopher Strieter, cofounder of Senses Wines, a small-batch producer of West Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and sales manager at Uproot Wines, a VC-backed direct-sales wine company focused on customer experience, still harbored dreams of becoming an astronaut when he began studying math, economics, and physics at Harvey Mudd College. Over time, his interests shifted toward a more traditional career in investment banking and a masters in finance program. But Christopher soon noticed that when his older friends talked about work, they talked about it as something they “had to” do versus something they wanted to do. Christopher wanted something more.

Through a serendipitous relationship, he was introduced to a wine maker who gave him an internship in financial planning for the business. He realized that his interests in science and finance could be combined in the wine business. With the wine maker acting as a mentor, Christopher was exposed to multiple facets of the business and also learned the skills and work habits needed to succeed in the industry. He fell in love with it. So, rather than following a well-trod route into banking, Christopher took a series of jobs in the wine industry—from wine making to business development—to immerse himself in the industry. “I don’t work a day in my life,” Christopher said. “I’m always learning.”

In part because of her experience growing up in Tanzania, Fatema Waliji already knew that she wanted to help developing countries when she arrived at Princeton to study politics. Yet an unexpected encounter with an alumnus in her junior year helped bring focus to her plans and see how she could develop real skills and further her learning to achieve a greater long-term impact. The alumnus worked at TripAdvisor and helped Fatema get an internship at the company where she discovered the potential for technology to impact the developing world. When she returned to school for her senior year, she concentrated her studies around technology and entrepreneurship and joined TripAdvisor full time upon graduation. In addition to her full time job, she spends her time volunteering and continuing to develop skills that will support her career goals as a social entrepreneur.

Christopher and Fatema were lucky; serendipitous connections with mentors early in their adulthood helped guide them into a domain. That does not happen to everyone. For the rest of us, what is the path toward finding a domain if the mentor never materializes?

Exposure to multiple communities as a way to find a domain
From our interviews, we were interested to discover that several people had found passion in areas they had not originally considered and in several cases, had specifically not found passion in the cause or ideal they had been committed to initially. Instead, these individuals discovered their domain over time through exposure to a variety of opportunities, activities, and communities. For example, Diana Simmons, senior director of product commercialization and process and systems improvement at Clif Bar & Company, for years thought that her ultimate job would be to run a corporate responsibility business unit. However, along the way her career led her into businesses operations including supply chain and marketing. When she at last joined the corporate responsibility group, she realized that she actually preferred making products and owning the product line responsibility. The company’s overall values satisfied her interest in sustainability, but her commitment and need for challenges was better expressed in the product commercialization unit of the company.

Similarly, Geoffrey West was looking for a collaborative academic environment and imagined he would find it in a major university. However, once he entered the academic world, he realized that his vision was not entirely aligned with the reality, and where he expected to find his passion he instead was disappointed. A fundamental physicist by training, today he explores biology and complex systems, a domain he arrived at over the course of building a collaborative, intellectual community at a national lab and later running the Santa Fe Institute.

Both Diana and Geoffrey accepted new opportunities that didn’t seem to fit the definition of their chosen domain and eventually found their focus. However, many individuals do nothing, waiting for the domain to discover them. Diana and Geoffrey did not wait. They pursued opportunities that looked interesting and exposed themselves to many new activities, groups, and communities. And when the reality of a job or domain conflicted with their long-held visions, they were open to re-evaluating their definitions.

The lesson we take from our interviews is that, for finding your domain and cultivating your passion, mentors are undoubtedly valuable, but even more so is active and conscious exploration. Participate in the flows of knowledge by attending as many events and engaging with multiple communities around the area you think you may find interesting. This may lead to serendipitous encounters or learning about new areas. What is certain is that you cannot find your domain by waiting for the perfect opportunities or assuming passion will come like a bolt of inspirational lightning. Commit to doing something. If reading about digital health or the maker movement piqued your interest, reach out to the author or look for the meet-up events in your area on the topic. Find others who may be interested in this area and start learning together. New opportunities will emerge as a result. Passion can and does come at any age, but it requires action and an openness to find it.


Tamara Samoylova For Deloitte LLP’s Center for the Edge, Tamara Samoylova leads research on work environment redesign, worker passion, and how technology changes the way we work and live.
Maggie Wooll Maggie Wooll is the content and engagement lead for Deloitte LLP’s Center for Edge, where she draws on her experience advising large organizations on strategy & operations to engage executives and practitioners in the Center’s work.

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.

Making on-the-job learning part of your talent strategy

on-the-job

Posted by Amy A. Titus and Josh Haims on February 3, 2015.

As work and workplaces continue to evolve, so do many employees’ expectations about what they want from their jobs. A previous model of lifetime employment with one company and aspirations of “climbing the ladder” has given way to career paths that are more fluid and lattice-like. As part of this transition, formal classroom learning often gives way to experiential, on-the-job (OTJ) learning. OTJ learning can not only be efficient and cost-effective in that it takes advantage of learning moments that arise naturally, but also strategic in that it can promote talent attraction and retention by addressing employee desires to keep developing professionally.

Read the full post »

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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