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Live at Davos | Deloitte’s response to “Preparing for the Global Talent Crisis”

By Ludo de Keulenaer - January 27, 2011

Dttl_davosbrand_200x200_012611As the Global Managing Director of Brand at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, I am often asked how employer branding—the way an organization uses its brand to attract, engage, and retain its people—can protect the sustained future of an organization and the global business community.

The answer, as you might suspect, is not simple—engaging employees with their employer’s brand requires the utmost innovation. In fact, central to the idea of investing in an employer brand as a way to achieve competitive eminence is viewing talent and brand as an integrated solution to resolve the unparalleled global crisis of talent scarcity.

With that in mind, I am proud to be in the company of the distinguished government, business, and community leaders participating in this year’s World Economic Forum session on “Preparing for the Global Talent Crisis: Action Time”. The Forum is a wonderful opportunity to engage in education-focused discussions with other thought leaders.

Below are several key insights and responses on the impact of global talent risk from the Forum’s report Global Talent Risk – Seven Responses:

The talent gap is a challenge for employers everywhere. According to the report, by 2020 the United States will need to add more than 25 million workers and Europe will need to add more than 24 million employees in order to sustain economic growth. In fact, within the next five years, Deloitte plans to hire a quarter of a million new employees worldwide. Learn more about Deloitte’s As One strategy and its plans to widen its competitive lead as the largest private professional services organization worldwide. 

The talent crisis is a global issue that calls for global solutions. Mobility—deploying talent to meet business or professional development goals—is one means of closing the talent gap.  Globalization is a driver of mobility, as more companies expand abroad and people consider foreign postings to be a part of professional development. 

At Deloitte, positioning the right people with the right skills at the right time to meet the needs of business, clients, talent, and the marketplace is a competitive imperative. What’s more, participation in a mobility assignment is a unique development opportunity and can be an important potential step on the path to leadership. Deloitte is also investing in building a diverse workforce and advancing women into leadership roles through the Global Retention of Women Initiative, as well as developing the talents and skills of underserved young people through Deloitte21.

Employability will continue to be a huge problem worldwide. Because of the uneven quality of education systems, the report also states that only 25% of Indian and 20% of Russian professionals are currently considered employable by multinationals. Deloitte21 represents the organization’s global ambition to drive innovation in education and skills to help underserved young people succeed in the 21st-century economy. Deloitte member firms around the world are actively engaged in local, national, and global advocacy and action to help address the education and skills gap.     

Finally, to answer the question posed at the beginning of this post, the issues related to the talent gap and employability mean that companies and countries will continue to compete for the best and the brightest. This is where employer branding can really protect an organization’s future. Organizations and countries must invest in and strategically plan for developing their people’s skills and talents in order to grow. 

At Deloitte, we are continuously trying to understand how the employer brand helps us to create a unique, highly relevant personal experience with our people. Understanding the brand also allows the organization to attract and invite potential recruits to “step ahead” with Deloitte. From global activities such as the Green Dot Challenge, in which Deloitte professionals submitted designs on what the brand means to them, to enabling Deloitte people to create a customized career path through Mass Career Customization, to the 588,000 hours Deloitte gave to pro bono projects and volunteerism efforts in FY10—the Deloitte brand is rooted in the value we bring to clients and talent.


Ludo de Keulenaer is the Global Managing Director of Brand at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.  Ludo represented Deloitte in the discussion at the World Economic Forum on the recently launched report, Global Talent Risk: Seven Responses. He shared insights on Deloitte’s responses to the global talent crisis, as well as Deloitte’s contributions as a member of the Forum’s Global Education Initiative steering board.

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