Research Survey
Deloitte University Press
Alice Kwan | Bill Pelster| Neil Neveras | Robin Erickson, PhD | Jeff Schwartz | Sarah Szpaichler
Key Findings

Organizations need to ask themselves the fundamental questions of the talent paradox: Are workers truly satisfied? Or are they just “making do” with their current jobs because of a difficult market?

THE economic turbulence of the past few years has created a talent paradox: Amid stubbornly high unemployment, employers still face challenges filling technical and skilled jobs. Deloitte first uncovered this modern contradiction from the employer side in The Talent Paradox: Critical Skills, Recession, and the Illusion of Plenitude.1 In this Talent 2020 report, we turn our focus to the employee perspective on the talent paradox.

Key Takeaways

Lessons for leaders: Retaining the best team amid the talent paradox

1. Focus on utilizing, engaging, and developing employee skills:

The most satisfied employees are those who believe their talent and skills are being well utilized by their employers. Companies that neglect development challenges and promotion opportunities run an increased risk of losing their best employees.

2. Emphasize—and reward—authentic leadership:

Trust in leadership translates into a more satisfied, committed, and engaged workforce that is likely to stay. Leaders who do not build trust, or cannot demonstrate a commitment to execute strategy, may not be building an organization that is an employer of choice.

3. Don’t underestimate the returns on communication:

Companies that communicate effectively and transparently are far more likely to engender trust, strengthen employee job satisfaction, and retain top workers.

About the Authors

Alice Kwan, US Talent Services Co-Leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Alice is a principal in the New York office of Deloitte Consulting LLP. With more than 20 years of consulting experience, she leads clients in developing and implementing talent strategy and large-scale organizational transformations, including the cultural, change management, leadership, and talent implications. She has advised clients and led many global projects that focus on developing new business operating models and developing and executing talent management strategies.

Bill Pelster, US Talent Services Co-Leader, Human Capital,Deloitte Consulting LLP

Bill has more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience. In his current role, Bill is responsible for leading the Bersin by Deloitte research and products practice and is a senior advisor to the Integrated Talent Management practice. A well-respected speaker and author, he has recently led, supported, or authored key research pieces including Talent 2020, Human Capital Trends, and The Leadership Premium. In his previous role as Deloitte’s chief learning officer, Bill was responsible for the total development experience of Deloitte professionals, and was one of the key architects of Deloitte University, Deloitte’s $300 million learning facility outside Dallas. Bill is a former US board member for Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Neil Neveras, Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Neil Neveras, Global Practice Leader, Leadership Development & Succession, Deloitte Consulting LLP, has over 20 years of experience in leadership development and talent management. He helps clients solve complex leadership challenges, including defining leadership capabilities to drive business priorities, talent pipeline planning, assessment, development planning and programming, career-pathing, coaching/mentoring, global assignments/mobility, and success metrics. Neil’s Fortune 500 clients are in financial services, retail, technology, media, professional services, life sciences industries, and the public sector. Previously, Neil was Director of Executive Education at the Wharton School. He has designed and delivered leadership development programs in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, France, Germany, the US and other countries. Neil holds a Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics and Leadership (Univ. of Pennsylvania) and Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory (Univ. of Michigan).

Robin Erickson, PhD, Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Robin Erickson, PhD, is a Principal Researcher in Human Capital. Recognized as a thought leader for talent acquisition, engagement, talent mobility, retention, and layoffs, she also draws on her experiences as a research analyst at Bersin and a talent strategies consultant at multiple consulting firms. In addition to her publications for The Conference Board, Robin has written for Bersin, Deloitte Review, Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, the Wall Street Journal,, and Talent Management, to name a few. A frequent presenter, Robin’s speaking engagements include The Conference Board conferences and council meetings, as well as multiple national and international conferences.

Jeff Schwartz, Global Leader Human Capital Marketing, Eminence, and Brand, Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Jeff is the practice leader for the Human Capital practice in US India based in New Delhi and the global leader for Human Capital Marketing, Eminence, and Brand. A senior advisor to global companies his recent research focuses on talent in global and emerging markets. He is a frequent speaker and writer on issues at the nexus of talent, human resources and global business challenges.

Sarah Szpaichler, Human Capital, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Sarah Szpaichler is the Senior Manager, Human Capital at Deloitte US based in New York City, New York. Previously, Sarah was the Manager, Community Relations & Conference at Little Caesar Enterprises

Publish Date

January 2013