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Press article: How human resources can resource humans

Luxembourg For Finance


The current economic situation is improving but HR managers remain prudent regarding the solidity and sustainability of the recovery. The majority of companies are unsatisfied with their achievements in managing staff with high potential and recognise the need to intensify their efforts in certain key areas of talent management.

These are only some of the results of a survey, Deloitte Luxembourg S.A. conducted amongst 200 persons of various industries involved with Human Resources Management. Luxembourg for Finance interviewed Gilbert Renel, Deloitte Luxembourg partner and leader of human capital advisory services, about the survey.

What made you decide to launch the HR survey in 2010/beginning 2011? Was this a reaction to the financial crisis?

The survey is part of a series of surveys which had already been launched in 2008– in order to understand how organisations were managing talents in times of economic crisis. This analysis is the latest of the series and provides us with valuable insight into the evolution of talent management in Luxembourg and across the world over the last 12-18 months.

Do companies recruit on a more senior level than the years before?

It would indeed seem so, with some 95% of respondents citing the recruitment of experienced hires as a key priority in the near future. In addition, it transpires from the survey that companies are focusing increasingly on ensuring that managerial positions are adequately filled – whether from external acquisitions or the internal development of their high professionals and high performers.

Which qualifications should a candidate have besides technical skills?

Although this specific issue was not directly addressed in the survey, the increased focus of employers on their high potential and high performers staff and the promotion of flexibility in their workplaces, would lead us to believe that one key behavioural differentiating skills for candidates is ‘learning agility’ – i.e. “the ability and willingness of a person to adapt to new environments and acquire new skills”.

Do companies have to bring up greater efforts to retain their employees than the years before?

The survey clearly points to the fact that employers are more worried about the potential increase in their staff turnover rate (36% in 2010/2011 compared to 22% in 2009) with the results that staff retention is back on their radar screens – although most of them (74%) believe they are excellent or good on this specific issue.

What are the main reasons employees change jobs?

The survey points to 3 key potential elements: insufficient variable financial remuneration, lack of career progress and new opportunities in the labour market.

How important is employer branding?

Very important indeed – and the survey indicates that this will be a key investment area for employers; they rate it as their 3rd priority area - just behind ‘leadership development’ and ‘workplace flexibility’.

Is company culture more important to employees than incentives or renumeration increases?

I would answer this question by extrapolating from the survey’s insights on the importance of employer branding and the reasons why employees tend to look for alternative employment. These would lead us to conclude that corporate culture is indeed a potential differentiator, especially regarding recruitment. However, as far as retention is concerned the combinations of more concrete elements, such as remuneration and career development, play a more important role.

Are companies in Luxembourg aware of the new challenges in the HR domain?

The pulse of our surveys over the years indicates that Luxembourg companies are indeed well aware of the new challenges in HR (and their evolution over time). For instance, this year we included a hefty chapter on the status and evolution of HR Information Systems and found that our respondents were indeed very well aware of challenges awaiting them in that area.


Filip Gilbert
Deloitte Luxembourg
Job Title:
Partner - Human Capital Advisory/Transformation
+352 451 452 743



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