Life at Deloitte

Helping purpose-driven talent thrive

"You can change the world and have a business career"

The internet has altered how many of us think and relate to the world around us, breaking down barriers and exposing causes in ways that weren’t possible a generation ago. One result of this evolution is the purpose-driven professional.

It’s difficult to overestimate the influence the Internet has had on the world. Sure, it’s changed the way we communicate, shop, research, learn, and entertain ourselves. But, on a deeper level, it’s altered how many of us think and relate to the world around us, breaking down barriers and exposing causes in ways that weren’t possible a generation ago.

One result of this evolution is the purpose-driven professional. For six in 10 young workers, a “sense of purpose” is part of the reason they chose to join their current employers, according to DTTL’s 2015 Millennial survey. And they’re not alone; Gen Xers and veteran talent also are increasingly seeking opportunities to make an impact on the world around them both through the work they do and endeavors outside the office.

“Leading universities now offer courses in social entrepreneurship, impact investing, social-enterprise management, and social innovation. That’s creating a new pool of professionals who can operate in both the business and social-sector realms,” explains Margot Thom, Deloitte Global Chief Talent Officer. “The call and promise is, ‘You can change the world and have a business career.’ That’s especially appealing to millennials, who are looking for work that elicits passion and helps them pursue professional, personal, and social goals simultaneously.”

Business skills, social impact

One such career calling is cybersecurity. Many young job seekers see the havoc wreaked on society by cyber-based terrorism, computer intrusions, and cyber fraud, and decide they can make an impact that matters for consumers, economies, and even national security.

Several Deloitte member firms host “hackathon” events to give tech-minded students venues to demonstrate their talents, while providing valuable insights into the challenges and rewards that await those who choose a cybersecurity career. The Deloitte US Cyber Risk Services practice joined with the US’s Deloitte Foundation to host one such event in April 2015. Students representing 10 of the top universities in the US competed against their peers and other schools for top honors, which went to the team from the University of Southern California. A second event with 15 teams is scheduled for late 2015.

Deloitte Digital in the UK member firm ran a similar "hackathon" competition, called “Gone Hacking,” to identify ideas to disrupt and transform the financial services industry. Participants on 14 teams had 48 hours to develop and present their solutions to a panel of industry leaders, who helped refine participants’ ideas. The most impressive concepts were awarded prizes and some participants were encouraged to apply to Deloitte UK’s BrightStart training program, which helps talented students develop a successful business careers.

“Events like these not only provide great experiences for participating students, but they also help member firms develop a pipeline of talented recruits who otherwise may not have considered a career at Deloitte,” says Jonathan Gray, Partner, Deloitte Digital, Deloitte U.K.

Figures are aggregate across DTTL and its member firms.

Companies are finding ways to link talent development and rewarding, purpose-driven work.
To learn more, read, “The purpose-driven professional,” published by Deloitte University Press.

Not an either/or proposition

For those who want to have even more direct involvement insocial-impact activities, Deloitte member firms have long histories of offering professionals the ability to mix paid and pro bono assignments, be “seconded” to not-for-profits, take sabbaticals to help at social enterprises, and perform other skill-based volunteering. Networkwide, during FY2015, Deloitte professionals dedicated more than 340,000 hours to pro bono assignments and more than 820,000 hours to volunteering.

The concept of pursuing maximum financial, social, and environmental impacts has gained traction throughout the Deloitte network. “This has provided more opportunities for purpose-driven professionals to pursue personal pursuits while working within the corporate world,” Thom says.

Nate Wong is one of those people. Wong, a Deloitte US manager in the Social Impact Strategy practice, once spent two weeks in Brazil working with a nonprofit group that serves disadvantaged youth in poverty-stricken favelas. The experience sparked an interest in international development that made him question his career path. “I actually thought about leaving my consulting job, until I realized I could pursue my passions and remain with Deloitte US,” Wong says.

After taking a four-month sabbatical to work as a volunteer consultant in several countries in Southern Africa, Wong returned to a new emerging-markets role that let him apply his volunteer experiences to his work. Today, he is embedded at Deloitte US’s newly launched Social Impact Strategy practice, helping public-, private-, and social-sector clients maximize their social impact. “My story is an example of the varied opportunities that are available at Deloitte,” he says. “While transitions like mine aren’t always simple, with leadership support, I’ve been able to align my work and my societal interests in a way that helps me make an impact that is truly satisfying.”

The flexibility and socially focused conviction that appeals to millennials is beginning to attract nontraditional talent to Deloitte, as well. “A number of fundamental shifts are impacting traditional notions of employment, requiring organizations to take a much more flexible approach to attracting and retaining talent. For instance, there is a growing population that prefers to be self-employed so that they can choose the types of assignments they prefer and have the autonomy to manage their own work and schedules,” Thom says.

“Several member firms have begun experimenting with flexible talent models to attract the specific skills and experience Deloitte needs to deliver on its business aspirations,” she continues. “We have to explore every avenue to ensure Deloitte can provide an exceptional experience to its clients while recognizing professionals’ evolving choices about how, where, and when they work.”

“Deloitte”, “we”, “us”, and “our” refer to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. See additional information.

The open talent economy is a collaborative, transparent, technology-enabled, rapid-cycle way of doing business.
To learn more, read, “The Open Talent Economy: People and work in the borderless economy.

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