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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Deloitte’s Bersin buy signals HR’s growing strategic importance


In recognition of the HR function’s growing strategic importance, Deloitte Consulting has acquired analyst company, Bersin & Associates, in a bid to access a new customer base.

The aim is to keep the existing Bersin team intact and run it as a business unit under the moniker of ‘Bersin by Deloitte’, with the aim of enabling it to continue providing market research and analytics services to employers in the HR, talent management and learning and development sectors.
The move was important, according to Barbara Adachi, Deloitte’s national managing director for HR, because the rise of globalisation, changes in labour models, shifting workforce dynamics and significant cost pressures were “elevating the strategic importance of the HR function among the C-suite”.
“The acquisition provides our clients with an enhanced portfolio of HR and talent management research, benchmarking and advisory services to help them address these challenges – all from a single source,” she said.
Josh Bersin was similarly upbeat in his blog, pointing out that, with the help of the management consultancy’s deeper pockets, his organisation intended to further develop its Factbooks trends and benchmarking report into an online benchmarking data service.
It also planned to add social media support, professional development and personalisation tools to its BersinInsights information portal in order to make it “the Information Terminal of HR – an indispensable source of information and professional development you use daily to do your job”.
The offering was already used by 450 Fortune 1000 companies on a daily basis, Bersin attested.
Standalone entity
But he moved to reassure regular customers that they would see little change beyond a “new logo and over time a refreshed design of our materials”. Other shifts would also include research that becomes “more globalized and deepened in many areas”.
But Bersin added: “As we integrate our research into Deloitte’s service offerings, you will be able to obtain direct strategy, technology selection and implementation, and many other services based on our research. When viewed together, we now offer an integrated spectrum of offerings, including research, information, data, analyst services, professional development and consulting.”
But Mike Cooke, former Bersin executive and chief executive of rival, the Brandon Hall Group, was not convinced that Bersin would remain as a standalone entity.
In his blog, Cooke predicted that “the Bersin name and brand will go away – probably within the next 18 months while Deloitte tries to tap into the current brand equity of Bersin”.
Moreover, he attested that “many Bersin clients and other companies” could expect to be supported differently to how they were today and possibly see new pricing structures put in place.
“Deloitte, by its nature, is focused on very large, transformational consulting engagements, so the future research that is developed may be more about supporting the consulting that Deloitte wants to do versus what the market needs,” Cooke added.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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