Deloitte is one of the world’s top ten most attractive employers, ranked #1 by income among the professional services firms and seventh on Universum’s 2013 Global Employer Index. Universum recently spoke with Kent Kirch, Global Director of Talent Acquisition and Mobility, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, to learn more about the talent practices at an organization that employs over 202,000 people around the world and is committed to recruiting top talent and preparing them to succeed in the global marketplace.
Talented professionals with the global skills to work effectively across borders and cultures are what member firm clients expect from Deloitte. “Deloitte’s clients operate globally, and so do we. Deloitte people frequently travel or move internationally on business and work on virtual, cross-border teams. Therefore, developing critical global business skills for our current employees and the next generation of talented employees is paramount,” said Kirch.
In 2010, Deloitte started the Global Internship Program, aimed at developing the global business skills of the next generation of talent and enhancing Deloitte’s ability to recruit top talent. To date, hundreds of top students from around the world have participated in the four-week program, either working at overseas Deloitte locations or at the local member firm on a global project as part of a virtual, cross-border team. A novel aspect of the program is that all interns work with people from different countries and cultures—including Deloitte professionals and clients—on real world challenges impacting international business.
“International experience stands out on a resume. Students gain a competitive advantage with the Global Internship Program,” said Kirch. “They also get the opportunity to build the must-have skills required to excel as a leader, and a global network that will serve them throughout their careers.”
For Deloitte, one of the goals of the Global Internship Program is to enhance its employer brand. The program is also a channel for sourcing future talent. “Interns gain exceptional experience from working in an international environment with Deloitte people, using the same cross-border collaboration tools we use every day, and they learn about Deloitte’s culture and what it is like to work here,” said Kirch. “That deepens our connections with a pool of globally skilled potential hires that will be ready to effectively serve Deloitte’s clients.” Most interns receive full-time employment offers with Deloitte member firms in their home county and join Deloitte after their internship.
Traveling internationally or on virtual teams, interns also apply classroom learning to the real world and learn to think strategically. Perhaps even more importantly, they learn to work, collaborate, and lead inclusively in multi-cultural teams.
“The Global Internship Program prepares participants to step up and lead from the very start of their careers, and leadership is what Millennials want,” said Kirch. That fact is substantiated by the findings from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (DTTL) third annual Millennial Survey, which found Millennials want to work for organizations that foster innovative thinking and develop their skills. Over one in four Millennials are “asking for a chance” to show their leadership skills. Additionally, 75 percent of the Millenials surveyed, believe their organizations could do more to develop future leaders.
This is where the Global Internship Program and other formal and informal career and leadership development programs offered at Deloitte deliver positive outcomes. One of the most significant informal initiatives involves Deloitte’s own employees: They are encouraged to act as mentors and to “pay it forward” by helping others progress in their careers. Kirch also noted that professionals driven by a desire to learn and grow have unlimited access to learning that can be instructor-led, on-the-job, or virtual.
“Growing leaders at every level from new hires, emerging talent, experienced professionals, and seasoned partners is what we do,” said Kirch. “We do this to strengthen connections and collaboration across the network, enabling people to deliver high-quality service.”
Kirch named the Global New Partner Seminar and Milestone programs as examples of Deloitte’s formal leadership programs. The Global New Partner Seminar provides an extraordinary opportunity for new partners from member firms to network, to get information about the organization’s resources and to enhance client and partner relationships. The Milestone Programs empower recently promoted professionals to thrive in their new position by teaching them, among many things, leadership and people management skills.
In addition, Deloitte is committed to diversity and inclusion. Strength from cultural diversity is a core value. In cross-border teams, people learn about and how to benefit from their differences. Formal diversity and inclusion learning programs, affinity groups, and diversity roundtables and events are among the many opportunities for people to develop the borderless thinking and multicultural competencies and behaviors required to work and lead effectively. Deloitte’s focus on diversity and inclusion earned the organization a third-place ranking in DiversityInc.’s Top 10 Companies for Global Diversity.
Perhaps the strongest proof of Deloitte’s undeniably strong commitment to developing its people is the $300 million investment in Deloitte University in the United States. Deloitte is further expanding its investment in the success of its people by making the global Deloitte University learning curriculum available in all regions. This is evidenced by the opening in December 2013, Deloitte University EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) in Belgium, and Deloitte University: The Leadership Center in India.
Deloitte University is focused on “developing the world’s best leaders and creating a place where ideas prosper.” Kirch explained, “It serves as a catalyst for transformational learning and leadership development and is a way for employees to experience the Deloitte culture, make connections, and build their professional networks.”
Since the United States facility was opened two years ago, 50,000 people from 70 countries have passed through its doors. In its first year, nearly 4,000 people are expected to attend programs at Deloitte University EMEA, and by 2017, that number will rise to nearly 30,000.
Kirch spoke about what he thought would be the major challenges for employers in 2014.
“One of the biggest challenges will be the mismatch between available skillsets in the market place and what employers want from young potential candidates,” Kirch stressed. “There is a particular shortage of talent with Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) skills and degrees, and that will continue.”
The impact Millennials will have on the marketplace will be significant, Kirch also noted, citing Deloitte’s 2014 Millennial Survey, which shows that 70 percent might reject traditional business to work independently and that may affect the supply chain of top talent in the recruitment market. “Millennials also have big demands and high expectations of employers according to the survey, with 78 percent being influenced by how innovative a business is when deciding if they want to work there,” he added. “And among this generation in search of purpose, 74 percent believe businesses have a positive impact on the communities in which they operate, but also believe that business can do more to help society.”
There is also a strong trend in the talent market where highly skilled workers are looking to maintain their independence, choosing virtual, freelance, or contract work rather than traditional employment. “This is creating larger open talent networks on a global scale that can supplement the work of traditional employees,” said Kirch. “Knowledge workers have the flexibility they want, and employers have access to a pool of talent available on a contingent or project basis.”
Companies will also need to invest in their employer brands, Kirch said. “They’ll need to understand why they exist and what their purpose is, and spend a great deal of effort on developing and differentiating their organization’s value proposition and talent experience if they want to excel in attracting and recruiting top talent in 2014.”
Kirch also noted that the labor market growth is slowing, with significant talent supply and demand mismatches in a number of countries and regions—including emerging or priority markets. “Deloitte is making a significant investment in 11 of these markets (including China, Brazil, Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa) and is investing a total of $1.25B between 2010 and 2015 to develop capabilities in those markets. Some 70 percent of these investments are in talent-related activities, like recruitment and development of people,” said Kirch. “It will, however, be a challenge to locally source the qualified talent needed to support growth plans in places like Africa, the Middle East, and Turkey.”
“Students often ask ‘what makes Deloitte different?’” said Kirch. “I think it starts with our commitment to offering an exceptional talent experience.” Working internationally is part of that experience. Short- and long-term international assignments totaled approximately 6,000 in 2013 and are on the rise. But that is only part of the story, concludes Kirch: “At its heart, the Deloitte experience is about having unlimited opportunities to do meaningful work and to grow, learn, and lead at every point in your career. People have the flexibility to create the career and life experiences they want and the power of being part of a global network of talented, collaborative people.”
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.