Maintaining the talent pipeline during M&A

Maintaining the talent pipeline during M&A

Posted by Tom Joseph, Bill Cleary, and Bhawna Bist on March 21, 2017.

It’s no secret that mergers & acquisitions (M&A) can disrupt ongoing business activities. This disruption also impacts HR customers, both internal (executives, managers, employees) and external (applicants, retirees, vendors/suppliers). Leaders often turn their attention inward during M&A, leaving one group critical to the growth of the business overlooked: the external talent market.

Continue reading “Maintaining the talent pipeline during M&A”

A new operating model for talent acquisition

A new operating model for talent acquisition
Posted by Arthur Mazor and Bill Cleary on December 13, 2016.

In our previous post, we looked at some of the ways HR can learn from leading practices for customer experience to improve talent acquisition. Enhancing the candidate experiences requires getting smarter about how organizations approach talent acquisition. According to Bersin by Deloitte, recruiting is already an expensive undertaking—US companies spend an average of $4,000 per hire—and it’s likely organizations will feel greater pressure to spend even more in the competition for the attention of Millennials and other talent.1 From social media to alumni networks, it’s time for companies to focus their investments on the areas of greatest payoff. That means linking recruitment more closely to overall corporate strategy as well as promoting a smoother ride for candidates through the process.

Continue reading “A new operating model for talent acquisition”

The candidate as customer

The new dynamics of talent acquisition

The candidate as customer
Posted by Arthur Mazor and Bill Cleary on November 15, 2016.

The competition for talent is intensifying. Continuing economic growth is giving skilled employees more leverage in the job market, raising the bar for companies looking for a talent edge over rivals. Gone are the days when HR could simply announce open positions and expect to get plenty of interested candidates.

Continue reading “The candidate as customer”

Another opportunity to extend HR Shared Services—COEs


Posted by Vyas Anantharaman, Kelley Taylor, and Diksha Dehal on June 03, 2016

We’ve devoted a few discussions to how organizations can make better use of HR Shared Services (HRSS) and why they should. Today’s HRSS centers are more innovative, more technologically proficient, and far more interactive and knowledge-based than they have traditionally been perceived. These advancing capabilities make HRSS well-suited to support another vital area of HR: COEs (Communities of Expertise). With a few targeted steps up front to help facilitate the transfer, services traditionally handled in COEs can also be handled effectively and efficiently via HRSS. The goal is not to diminish or replace COEs, but to free their resources for more value-added activities.

Continue reading “Another opportunity to extend HR Shared Services—COEs”

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.

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.

“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).

Continue reading ““I know the perfect person…””