Managing talent in turbulent times
Following the financial crisis many companies set a priority on training and developing their staff rather than recruiting young graduates. A study recently conducted by Deloitte Luxembourg concludes that the issue is not just recruiting, but also retaining people. Another central finding of the study is that people think economic problems in Luxembourg are likely to continue.
The people surveyed in Luxembourg are more pessimistic than those in Asia and the United States. Compared to the rest of Europe, Luxembourg is more pessimistic than the average but the gap is smaller than with other parts of the world. 80% of those surveyed believe that economic difficulties in Luxembourg will either continue or get worse.
Renel Gilbert, partner at Deloitte Luxembourg and leader of human capital advisory services adds: "If you look at the last quarter of 2009, we see that other countries believe that in economic terms the worst is behind them. In Luxembourg, however, we believe that the worst is yet to come. “
This is partly related to the uncertainties that people feel about the future of the financial sector. According to Gilbert Renel, it is reflected in the number of private banking customers giving way to children and grandchildren who, themselves, have a different attitude towards banking secrecy.
The survey, entitled “Managing talent in turbulent times” focused on the Luxembourg employment market. It was conducted in late 2009 and records the expectations of 200 people from three distinct groups: employers, employees and human resources officers.
"All three are cautious in terms of talent management. The question that has to be asked is not only about recruiting, but also about ongoing motivation and retention", says Gilbert Renel. He adds that in this economic cycle, employers thought carefully before laying off staff, especially in big companies.
Insourcing is trendy again
69% of the companies surveyed are focusing on training and developing existing staff rather than recruiting of young graduates. This is not necessarily bad news for young people. According to Gilbert Renel you have to put things in perspective.
"It's also good news for young people in the sense that more employers will train them on the job. The reason for this is quite simple. There is the 10-20-70% rule. This means that 10% of information comes from professional training, 20% from coaching and 70% from what we learn at work. “
On the one hand, unemployment is rising; on the other hand many companies struggle to find the talent they need. In the financial sector there is primarily a shortage of skilled staff, for example in the areas of compliance and accounting.
Gilbert Renel describes the most sought-after profiles: "Even though people are often very good from a technical standpoint, it is rare to find any with the ability to adapt and learn in an environment that is changing rapidly.
Another highly sought after profile is that of people able to manage and motivate a team, which is not an easy thing to do. And a last, important profile is the Luxembourgers or Luxembourg resident who knows the country and preferably speaks four languages. “
Companies that want to attract or retain talent should be able to offer attractive incentives. According to Gilbert Renel the development of skills is one of these incentives, but it is not the only one.
"There are more and more companies with flat departmental structures, that is, business areas that do not have much of a hierarchy. Yet even in such entities it is possible to give responsibility to individuals: project responsibility, responsibility for managing a small team or that of coaching someone.
An important part of managing talent is the skill of connecting people. If I'm comfortable with people I work with, whatever their status in the company, I will think twice before resigning.” Gilbert Renel regrets that many people have not yet paid much attention to this crucial aspect.
He concludes with a telling example. The phenomenon of connecting people has nothing to do with the level of salaries or the individual’s position in a company. “It's like in football, when Wayne Rooney from Manchester United comes onto the ground before training and talks to the groundsman who takes care of the state of the pitch. “