Deloitte SA Blog


How to make sure you have the most capable people in your insurance company

Group of college students outdoors studying. Image shot 11/2007. Exact date unknown.

Recruiting beyond the risk averse: Modernising graduates’ perception of insurance is a report based on a survey which explores the aspirations, goals, and motivation of business students looking at careers in insurance. In an environment of relentless Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA), the report aims to uncover underplayed strengths and address weaknesses in order for insurers to better attract talent.

Globally, the findings show that insurance is not a popular career destination for business students and that the industry may not be attracting talent with the creative or innovative skills to safeguard its future success. In South Africa, insurance is more popular with business students than in most other countries surveyed. However, its popularity is falling and is much less popular than other business sectors.

To attract graduate talent, insurers should do better at exploiting their strengths, which they currently underplay. Understanding the mind-set of business students and their attitudes to insurance is a first step, and this report explores these issues.

The key findings of the survey include:

  • Security is sought more than innovation or exciting products
  • Insurance-inclined students want to develop and be experts
  • Work-life balance declines in importance, but still the top career goal
  • International opportunities provoke little interest amongst the job security-conscious insurance-inclined
  • Seeking friendly colleagues, but not team-work
  • Financial strength, prestige ranked ahead of ethics and social responsibility

Read the South African report

How do you make sure you have the most capable people in your organisation?


Graduate Recruitment in Banking: Facing the credibility crunch, explores what banking-oriented students want from their career and how banks measure up to those expectations. What stands out from the research is that globally, banking has been usurped from its position as the number one career choice for business students. The findings also dispel a few preconceptions about what students want out of a career in banking.

In South Africa, banking has been a consistently popular career choice among business students over recent years, and has not suffered the reputational challenges faced by other countries worst hit by the 2008 global financial crisis. This could be because South African banks have been one of the most innovative in the world. A fact that’s been recognised by students. Although banking as a career has increased in popularity compared to last year, it is still below its 2010 peak.

Other key findings from the global report include:

  • Banking has been toppled from its position by FMCG as the most popular career choice
  • The software and computing services sector is continuing to rise in popularity among business students
  • Work-life balance remains the most popular career goal
  • “Professional training and development” topped the list of attributes that students found attractive in an employer
  • The banking sector was viewed by business students as less likely to offer a friendly work environment than the average employer

The findings from this report are a wake-up call for banks, whose popularity has fallen sharply since the global financial crisis. There is also a growing gap between banks’ image as employers and their needs in an environment of relentless Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA). The banks’ only advantage may be their people. This survey highlights the need for banks to respond positively in order to attract the best talent.

Click here to read the South Africa report

Headstart: A new approach to leadership development

vuca3 VUCA – an environment of relentless Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. How do you set the tone at the top in a VUCA world?

Market perceptions of leaders move share prices and the Deloitte publication, The Leadership Premium: how companies win the confidence of investors, reveals just how much. The report puts a hard metric on the “intangible asset” of leadership, revealing that, in some sectors, good leaders can account for more than one-fifth of equity value.  In interview after interview, analysts told Deloitte that the quality of senior leadership helped decide the long-term potential of a stock. The gap between the value of an effectively-led and ineffectively-led company could, says the paper, be as much as 35.5 percent. So how do analysts judge leaders—and how can companies bridge that gap?

The past few years have seen a greater focus on leadership and leadership development than ever before. But investment in leadership programmes, leadership retreats and e-learning tools doesn’t seem to be paying off in tangible and sustainable results.  This is according to a report released by the Deloitte LEAD team titled Head start: A new approach to leadership development. How do you ensure leadership development programmes benefit organisations in the long term? How do you sustain behavioural change? The answers, says the Deloitte LEAD team, lie in understanding leaders’ minds.

Click here to read The Leadership Premium: how companies win the confidence of investors

Click here to read Head start: A new approach to leadership development

Contact us to learn more about VUCA

How do you future proof your organisation? Get fit for VUCA


The rapid speed of change in business is no state secret. Military planners, amongst others refer to the current environment as VUCA. In this context volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity change the dynamics of engagement and in Financial Services, disruptors are intensifying, requiring a decisive focus on Human Capital.

  • How do you lead your people though change effectively?
  • How do you derive value from the hurdles of regulation?
  • How do you make sure you have the most capable people?
  • How do you set the tone at the top?
  • How do you get your HR function to lead you though a VUCA world?
  • How will your people make or break your expansion into new territories?

Do you have the answers?

How will you lead your people through ever-shifting change effectively?


VUCA – an environment of relentless Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. In this world, financial services institutions need to guide their people through constant change effectively, while maintaining their relevance and ensuring their future survival.

How will you lead your people through ever-shifting change effectively?

Change is changing. The way organisations approach and manage it is changing. And the practice of strategic change should adapt as well if it is to deliver the results organisations should have to survive and excel. Deloitte has released three papers which unpack the key issues leaders must unlock in order to remain relevant in a VUCA world.

Create rapid and sustainable change using your own colour palette is a piece that introduces the concept of “People Adoption”. People Adoption is a deliberate process that enables all employees to understand the reasons for change, the expected results, how this change will impact them, how they will benefit from this change and what they need to do to sustain this change. Once there is understanding, people start to change their behaviour – incrementally at first and then gain momentum.

Riding the waves of change: building an internal change capability examines the five factors to building and institutional change capability. Whether due to globalisation, new technologies, regulatory factors, increased competition, changing consumer profiles or a host of other factors, organisations will typically have waves of change initiatives to drive new operating models, technology implementation, customer service, cost reduction and process improvement.

Change programs fail to deliver the outcomes their sponsors seek. The reasons are manifold, but a common thread is wasted effort and time. One of the most critical needs is to accelerate change programmes – to reduce the wasted time that ill-directed or ineffective measures can cost an organisation. In Organisation Acceleration: the new science of moving organisations forward, we unpack a new framework for strategic change, called Organisational Acceleration, which harnesses analytics to guide a business in a more timely manner and more efficiently.

Click here to read Create rapid and sustainable change using your own colour palette

Click here to read Riding the waves of change: building an internal change capability

Click here to read Organisation Acceleration: the new science of moving organisations forward

How do you future proof your organisation?


The world is changing, fast. We live and operate in a constant state of turbulence. Military planners (amongst others) have an official term for it. They call it VUCA – an environment of relentless Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. In this state of VUCA, events coming at an organisation are increasing both in number and variety – at an unforgiving speed. It is survival of the fittest and the triumph of the most agile.

The VUCA World of today means that events coming at an organisation are increasing in number and variety and organisations need to respond quickly to these events in order to survive in the future. The South African Financial Services Industry is hurtling towards a VUCA World in a new way. Barriers are being eroded, competitors are emerging from non-traditional sectors and global players are here to stay.

You may be asking: how do I future-proof my organisation in a VUCA world?

In the next six weeks, Deloitte will help you answer six key questions that will enable you to not only future-proof your organisation, but triumph in this new world. Keep the human in Human Capital and thrive in a VUCA world is the first in a series of articles which will examine the building blocks of building a Human Resource capability that will enable your organisation to thrive in a world of constant volatility and change.

It’s time for organisations to step away from traditional paradigms around managing people, and focus on how to mobilise them towards organisational success.

What should you do now?

Click here to read the full article.

Contact us to learn more about building your HR capability for a VUCA world.

Failure to develop leaders is one of the biggest threats to global business growth

Leadership image

Deloitte ran a global human capital survey in October 2013 in which 266 South African organisations across all industries participated. Based on the results from the survey, Deloitte has published a Human Capital Trends report for South Africa. This communication introduces the first trend which is Leadership.

Leadership remains the number one talent issue facing organisations globally, with 89% of South African respondents rating the trend as urgent and important.

The challenge is to develop leadership pipelines that are global, broad and deep, reaching to every level of the organisation.

Click here for a summary of the highest ranking trend in South Africa which is Leadership

Click here to download the Global Human Capital Trends Report for South Africa

If you have any questions or require a more detailed discussion on your organisation’s leadership development requirements, contact Werner Nieuwoudt at


Deloitte releases the 2014 Human Capital Trends report for South Africa

Human Capital Trends 2014

We are pleased to release the 2014 Human Capital Trends report for South Africa. This report is a country-based summary and should be read in conjunction with the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report, which provides an extensive breakdown and interpretation of the findings of our 2014 Global Deloitte Human Capital Trends Survey.

This year, we had a record response from our clients in South Africa to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends Survey, with 266 respondents. This makes it a very valid reflection of how these trends are affecting South African businesses across the industry spectrum.

In addition, we have surveyed a number of other countries on the African continent. A survey for Africa incorporating the responses from these countries will be released later this year and will be available on our website. This will provide an ideal addition for those clients of ours who are active on the African continent and for whom people issues are top of mind.

Our Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey is one of the largest organisation development, human-resource and talent-management surveys of its kind, with 94 countries participating this year. Against the items surveyed, it is clear that most global organisations are grappling with the same people issues and in many cases are not fully prepared to deal with these major trends that are reshaping the workforce.

In this report, which is aimed at the South African market, we highlight the five trends that we believe should be top of the agenda for executives and human resource teams in respect of finding, retaining, leading and developing their people over the next few years.

From the 12 trends identified in the Deloitte survey, three strategic focus areas or themes have emerged:

  • Lead and develop
  • Attract and engage
  • Transform and reinvent

South African respondents recognised the following top five trends in terms of the importance index:

  • Leadership (77%)
  • Retention and Engagement (71%)
  • Diversity and Inclusion (70%)
  • Workforce Capability (70%)
  • Talent Acquisition and Access (69%)

Despite these being the most urgent trends, many of the companies surveyed expressed reservations about their ability to address these issues in the short-to-medium term.

The 2014 human capital trends demand change, investment and focus if companies in South Africa want to effectively compete both as employers of choice and as competitive businesses in a human-resource-constrained market. We trust that this report, along with the 2014 Global Deloitte Human Capital Trends report, will serve as a useful guide for strategic human capital management in the coming year. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the reports in more detail. We would be delighted to assist you and your teams.

We look forward to engaging with you around the findings and to helping to unpack their implications for your human capital, HR and talent management decisions.

Click here to download Deloitte 2014 Human Capital Trends report for South Africa

If you have any questions, require more information or would like a more detailed discussion relating to the findings in the report, feel free to contact Werner Nieuwoudt (Human Capital Leader, Southern and Western Africa) at


How to compete in tumultuous times and operate in complexity


The current operating environment in which today’s leaders’ navigate is characterized by uncertainty and rapid change, with the growing influence of technology impacting business decision and organisational behaviour.

Despite improved global financial conditions and reduced short-term risks, the world economy continues to expand at a subdued pace. After a marked downturn over the past two years, global economic activity is expected to slowly gain momentum with a low-growth pattern expected to persist for at least several years. The macro environment in which senior leaders must learn to operate is no longer characterised by extraordinarily rapid growth punctuated by short and sharp V-shaped downturns and recoveries that affect only particular geographies.

Now senior leaders tasks will involve developing strategies to successfully steer companies through a rapidly hanging, uncertain and complex environment. Furthermore executives will need to find ways to navigate this environment by taking advantage of the growing role and impact that technology has in influencing business trends.

Click here to read or download the full article.

If you have any questions or would like a more detailed discussion, contact Andrew Lane at

Project iMbewu – supporting careers of the future


From iMbewu, meaning seed, which resonates with the notion of growth.

Data Analytics has been dubbed the ‘career of the future’. This fast growing competency requires rapid progress in terms of skill to meet the ever increasing demands from businesses, which use these skills to gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Globally and in South Africa, there is a need to nature and grow data analysts. There are few universities that offer a formal analytics degree, creating a challenge to source data analysts.  There are also a large number of unemployed graduates in South Africa, and we as Deloitte have a responsibility to make a difference to both issues. Project iMbewu is a greenhouse for the progress of these societal challenges.

Together with Mindworx and Harambee (an NGO), the Risk Advisory Data Analytics team has embarked on a project to acquire and train graduate candidates in the field of Analytics. A two month training program has been designed, where these candidates are formally trained in soft skills, job readiness and self-awareness together with technical training, before commencing a formal internship with Deloitte.

Our vision is that data analytics is expanded and enriched with the knowledge and skills it needs in order to propel the graduates and the organisations they will work for, forward.

For more infomation, contact Wesley Govender (Director at Deloitte Risk Advisory) at or + 2711 806 5718 and Nanette Scott (Senior Manager at Deloitte Risk Advisory) at


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