I have a love-hate relationship with the term “executive coach.” On the one hand, if I refer to myself as an executive coach, people have some sense of what I do: partner with professionals to design a customized leadership development plan. What I don’t like about the term, however, is that it excludes the majority […]
Forgive me for suggesting this to (alleged) financial professionals but perhaps if they treated their current talent like, well, talent as opposed to third-rate street whores, they might not have this problem. One need look no further than the comment section on any of our salary posts to find warranted discontent, anger, frustration and threats of exodus.
The Robert Half Global Financial Employment Monitor was developed by Robert Half International and is based on surveys conducted by independent research firms. The study, focusing on hiring difficulties, retention concerns and business confidence, includes responses from more than 6,000 financial leaders across 19 countries.
Here are the key findings:
• Two-thirds, 67 percent, of financial leaders reported at least some level of recruiting difficulty. Approximately one out of five (19 percent) respondents said it is very challenging to find skilled accounting and finance professionals today.
• Retention concerns are rising. Globally, 56 percent of executives said they are either very or somewhat concerned about losing top performers to other job opportunities in the year ahead. This is an 11-point jump from the 2010 survey.
• In the United States, 43 percent of executives cited worries about keeping their best people. This is up from 28 percent in 2010.
• Eighty-nine percent of respondents reported being at least somewhat confident in their organization’s growth prospects for the coming year.
More disturbing, retention issues seem to be a globally pervasive issue. More than half of executives, 56 percent, said they are very or somewhat concerned about losing valued employees to other opportunities in the coming year. This compares to 45 percent who cited retention concerns in the 2010 survey.
In some countries, the results were much higher. The number of executives worried about keeping key employees is up 16 points in Singapore, for example; 91 percent of respondents there said they see retention as an issue. In Hong Kong and Brazil, 88 percent and 85 percent of financial leaders, respectively, noted retention concerns.
What this means, of course, is that if any of you are desperate for work and somewhat decent at your jobs, you might want to look into tapping these markets. Despite what the IASB may like you to think, U.S. GAAP isn’t dead and knowledge of it is still a marketable skill, though a decent command of international standards will obviously benefit you more going forward.
Or turn your keepers’ fears into a tool to be leveraged and get yourselves raised up to at least second-rate street whore. Stranger things have happened.
Continuing with Wednesday’s attempt to provide insight on some KPMG H.R. banter, I will try to do the same with a recent Deloitte press release.
What seems to be their attempt to provide the private sector advice on how to prevent an exodus of talent actually sounds like a fluffy internal HR memo. Perhaps the Big 4 should review Deloitte’s top ten list of ways to not get slaughtered by the ever-improving job market:
1. Take advantage of the continuing globalization of talent and leadership markets.
DWB – Raid your competitors of their best talent, downplayed earlier this week.
2. Know your critical leaders and most critical talent. Keep your talent pipeline robust enough to deliver those critical skills.
DWB – Pay your top performers in order to keep them happy. If they receive an offer elsewhere, counter-offer their asses. Because the only inevitable outcome is the loss of some talent, see #1.
3. Prepare for a workforce that is more mobile and quicker to pursue new career opportunities.
DWB – Keep tabs on your people. Job loyalty has gone the way of the
dinosaurs Baby Boomers. The “what’s in it for me” mentality is keeping job markets saturated with talented individuals looking for a better deal.
4. Tailor your strategies to address the generational and geographic diversity of your workforce.
DWB – Old people and young people don’t get along. They’ve never gotten along. They never will get along. Accept it and move on.
5. Show your employees both the money and the love. Communicate your employer brand as clearly to employees as you communicate your product brand to customers.
DWB – One part water plus two parts HR spin, stirred. Pour over ice. Serve.
6. Know what it takes to stay ahead of your competitors in retaining critical talent, developing new leaders, implementing workforce planning and driving innovation.
DWB – I don’t have a clue what you’re supposed to learn from this. Money is the main driving force. Money makes people dance for joy or jump ship. If your retained talent is net positive, suhhhweeet.
7. Create clear career paths for employees at all levels.
DWB – I like this one if implemented correctly. The traditional career trajectories are well known; communicate practice-to-practice and geographic rotations. Change – even short term – can refresh one’s career and create a greater sense of loyalty to the firm.
8. Align your leadership development programs with your long-term business goals.
DWB – Every firm has ‘the chosen ones” and invests in additional training, retreats, and leader cultivation courses. This should come as no surprise.
9. Know the real impact of talent retention and voluntary turnover on your bottom line.
DWB – Newsflash: it is not cheap to replace talent. Considering most hires begin their careers as interns, we’re talking years of financial investment in every staff member. From pen giveaways to amusement park tickets, there’s a steep price for every staff member lost!
10. Be a beneficiary — not a victim — of the resume tsunami.
DWB – Perhaps you should revisit point #1.