Global Human Capital Trends 2014

Press releases

Global business growth jeopardised by companies’ failure to adjust to 21st century workforce

Recent survey by Deloitte reveals that organisations are not ready to address the shift in employee expectations, resulting in potential retention and leadership crises

A significant gap exists between the talent and leadership issues organisations face and their readiness to respond to them, according to the results of the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey conducted among over 2,500 business and Human Resource (HR) leaders. Across the world, respondents recognised the need to take action on critical issues including leadership (86%), retention and engagement (79%), and reskilling the HR function (77%). However, many expressed reservations about their teams’ ability to address the issues.

“The challenge facing the majority of global organisations is that they are not prepared to deal with the major trends that are reshaping today’s workforce,” said Jeff Schwartz, Global Human Capital Leader for Marketing, Eminence and Brand at Deloitte. “Given the radical shifts we are seeing in demographics and technology, applying existing methods to new and emerging human capital trends will not be enough to get the job done. The 21st century organisation is global, highly connected, and demanding. Organisations, and specifically HR leaders, need to better adapt if they want to attract and develop the right talent in today’s competitive marketplace.”

Lack of leadership threatens competitiveness

Developing leaders at all levels remains the top issue facing the majority of organisations, according to the survey. Yet only 13% believe they do an excellent job in leadership development; 66% believe they are “weak” in their ability to provide focused leadership programs for millennials, and 51% have little confidence in their ability to maintain consistent succession programs.

Beyond retention

Respondents said retention and engagement of employees is the second top challenge they face. More than one-third (38%) of leaders report they are “weak” at integrating social, community and corporate programs and aligning employee and corporate goals. Additionally, 40% state their organisation is “weak” in helping employees balance their personal and professional lives.

HR playing catch up

The survey also reveals that many HR teams lack the skills needed to meet the challenges of today’s global business environment characterised by disruptions in labour markets, evolving workforce demographics, shifts in technology and the changing nature of work itself. In fact, 34% of the respondents believe that their HR and talent programs are just “getting by” or even “underperforming.” Moreover, less than 10% of HR leaders have confidence that their teams have the skills needed to meet the challenge of today’s global environment and consistently deliver innovative programs that drive business impact.

Trends and challenges in Switzerland

Consistent with the global trends, leadership development at all levels is also the top challenge for Swiss companies. While over three quarters (78%) of Swiss respondents say that leadership is their biggest concern, only 46% report they are ready to address this challenge. Talent acquisition and access is the second biggest concern for respondents in Switzerland. Similarly to leadership, Swiss organisations also demonstrate a low degree of readiness (43%), which can impair their ability to secure access and acquire the right talent. Over half of the Swiss respondents (52%) report they are ready to address the HR technology challenge, although it has been ranked as the third top challenge organisations are facing today. Businesses increasingly see HR technology as a key enabler of their HR strategy.

“This research strongly highlights the imperative to innovate and transform human capital practices. It is now critical that both, HR and business leaders, come together to implement the right strategies to thrive in this era of rapid change”, commented Sarah Kane, Human Capital Leader of Deloitte in Switzerland.

About Deloitte in Switzerland

Deloitte is a leading accounting and consulting company in Switzerland and provides industry-specific services in the areas of audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance. With approximately 1,100 employees at six locations in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich (headquarters), Deloitte serves companies and institutions of all legal forms and sizes in all industry sectors. Deloitte AG is a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). DTTL member firms comprise of approximately 200,000 employees in more than 150 countries around the world.

Zurich, 18 March 2014 

Note to editors

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte AG, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, which is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms. Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries are leading business advisers, providing audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance services through more than 12,600 exceptional people across the UK and Switzerland. Known as an employer of choice for innovative human resources programmes, it is dedicated to helping its clients and people excel. Deloitte AG is recognised by the Federal Audit Oversight Authority and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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