May 01, 2007 08:00 ET

Deloitte & Touche: Attracting and Retaining Top Talent Is Leading Operational Challenge for Tech CEOs

Deloitte survey finds North American tech CEOs taking their search overseas to solve domestic talent shortage

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 1, 2007) - According to a Deloitte survey released today, attracting and retaining top talent has become the leading operational challenge for North American technology CEOs. As a result, the respondents of this year's Technology Fast 500 CEO Survey-Deloitte's annual survey of Technology Fast 500 company leaders-are taking their talent searches overseas.

Almost two thirds (64 percent) of CEOs felt it was important to look overseas for the top talent they need to grow their businesses-even though 67 percent indicate their country's education system is successful in producing qualified talent. However, the majority of CEOs are concerned that government restrictions on employment visas will prevent them from obtaining the overseas talent they need to successfully grow.

"Given today's race for top talent, it is not surprising that North American tech CEOs find it more difficult to attract, develop, and retain talent than to achieve profitability," explains John Ruffolo, National Leader of Deloitte's Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) Group. "It is only the companies that win the hearts and minds of their people that will ensure their growth in both the short and long term. As a result, CEOs are engaging people like never before."

Although companies expect to grow organically, more than half plan to outsource

In an environment where CEOs plan to grow organically (rather than by acquisition), it is even more important to harness the talents of high-caliber employees. More than three quarters (67 percent) of CEOs find that high-quality employees are the greatest contributor to their companies' growth and almost half (48 percent) acknowledged attracting and retaining qualified employees to be their biggest operational challenge in managing growth. CEOs also find developing leaders and delegating responsibility (33 percent) is a much greater personal challenge than achieving and sustaining profitability (18 percent), or managing risk (15 percent). While less than half of companies currently offshore some operations, 55 percent of CEOs plan to offshore in the next five years to achieve their growth. However, even in five years, CEOs envision the vast majority of their workforce will reside in North America.

CEOs are engaging and incenting talent like never before

With all but two percent saying they will be hiring over the next 12 months, CEOs need to offer potential employees significant compensation and incentives in this competitive landscape. Stock plans or other forms of financial ownership/interest in the company are by far the leading enticement (69 percent). Non-monetary incentives also help seal the deal, including flexible working hours (51 percent) and training and development programs (38 percent).

CEOs shift focus from Asia Pacific, in part due to intellectual property concerns

Intellectual property (IP) is a major concern for technology CEOs who have chosen a number of ways to protect this valuable commodity. The most popular (40 percent) is to restrict distribution of products to markets with a strong reputation for protecting IP, which may partially explain why interest in the Asia Pacific region dropped by half (from 20 percent in 2006 to 10 percent this year). They also incorporate IP protection to minimize theft (38 percent), hire third-party specialists to advise them on the IP protection (32 percent), and train staff on measures to reduce IP theft (32 percent).

Hottest growth industry shifts from wireless communications to Internet/IP this year

Last year CEOs picked wireless communications as having the greatest potential for growth over 12 months. However this year, CEOs are predicting that Internet/IP-related technologies will have the greatest potential for growth over the next year. Specifically, interest grew from 19 percent last year to 27 percent this year in Internet/IP, while only 16 percent saw wireless communications as all the rage this year, down from 21 percent last year. However, in the next one to three years, both Internet/IP and wireless communications are held in equally high esteem.

About the Deloitte Technology Fast 500

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 is an annual ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, and telecommunications companies in the United States and Canada based on percentage of revenue growth over five years. Part of Deloitte Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group, the ranking is based on percentage of revenue growth over five years and the winners are announced each fall. For further information, visit

About the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 CEO Survey

The Technology Fast 500 CEO Survey is an annual survey of Deloitte Technology Fast 500 company leaders. More than 125 CEOs across North America participated in the 2007 survey that addressed a full range of business challenges, from strategy and talent management to operations and finance. The survey also looked at company growth, the economy, and personal issues relevant to CEOs. The survey was conducted during the first quarter of 2007 by Deloitte's Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Group.

About the Deloitte Canada Technology Fast 50

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 program, a ranking of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Canada. The program ranks companies based on percentage revenue growth over five-years and celebrates business growth, innovation and entrepreneurship. The program also supplements the broader Deloitte Technology Fast 500 initiative, in that winners are automatically eligible to participate in the Fast 500. The application deadline for 2007 Deloitte Fast 50 companies is May 18, 2007. For further information, visit

About Deloitte

Deloitte, one of Canada's lading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through more than 6,800 people in 51 offices. Deloitte operates in Quebec as Samson Belair/Deloitte & Touche s.e.n.c.r.l. The firm is dedicated to helping its clients and its people excel. Deloitte is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Swiss Verein, its member firms, and their respective subsidiaries and affiliates. As a Swiss Verein (association), neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other's acts or omissions. Each of the member firms is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the names "Deloitte," "Deloitte & Touche," "Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu," or other related names. Services are provided by the member firms or their subsidiaries and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.

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