For Auto Industry, Attracting and Retaining Millennial Talent Requires an Inclusive Company Culture

By Daniel Lai

The millennial generation is the fastest-rising workforce and will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, according to PwC. In order for Michigan’s automotive and mobility industry to reap the talent it needs to maintain its leadership in connected and autonomous vehicle development, changing “the company culture” to appeal to millennials is not only necessary, it is essential. That was a key message Marvin Mendoza, director of talent innovation at PwC, delivered to more than 150 automotive industry leaders and stakeholders at the sixth MICHauto Annual Meeting.

“What we’re seeing, regardless of industry, are three megatrends impacting businesses: the rise of the millennial workforce, the rise of the flexible and freelance workforce, and the explosion of mobile and digital technology,” Mendoza said. “To stay ahead of the game, you have to adapt to these trends quickly and strategically.”

According to Mendoza, companies must adjust their culture to appeal to the next generation of talent. In conducting its own study, PwC determined that millennials are highly satisfied working for companies that provide: opportunity for career progression, merit bonuses, training, flexible working schedules, and a sense of doing something “good” for society. Additionally, millennials prefer to receive performance feedback in a real-time face-to-face environment.

Following Mendoza’s presentation, he was joined on stage by Anya Babbitt, founder and CEO of SPLT; Steven Fitzgerald, vice president and chief human resources officer for Visteon Corp.; and David Whitman, senior manager of global talent acquisition strategy and business planning for General Motors Co., for a discussion on how the “culture of making a difference” has positively impacted their business’s growth.

“We see a lot of talent coming back to Michigan,” Whitman said. “We have figured out that if people feel like they are making a difference in a very real way, and if they are happy, they will stay. What better way to capitalize on this than this convergence of the automotive and technology industries?”

In responding to a question from moderator Joann Muller, Detroit bureau chief for Forbes Media LLC, about preparing the next-generation to fill the talent pipeline, Fitzgerald said Michigan universities have stepped up with a plethora of degree programs. However, the automotive industry must not be afraid to look globally.

“There are only 300 million people in the United States trying to fill the demand of a global population of 7 billion people. There’s no way that a country as proportionally small as the United States is to the world can keep up with the talent demand in education if we continue to look solely in our borders,” he said.

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PwC US Announces New Managing Partner as Firm Opens Doors at One Detroit Center

Ray Telang is Appointed Managing Partner for PwC’s Michigan and Northwest Ohio Practice as 700 employees moving into new space

DETROIT, December 18, 2012 – PwC US, one of Metro Detroit’s largest professional services firms, announced today that it has appointed Detroit-based Ray Telang as market managing partner for its Greater Michigan Market, which includes Michigan and Northwest Ohio. This news comes as the firm relocated its more than 700 people to a new home in Downtown Detroit’s One Detroit Center.

“Ray brings more than 20 years of accounting and business consulting knowledge to our clients in the region, including a proven track record serving Michigan’s largest public and private companies,” said Dave Breen, PwC’s outgoing market managing partner who will retire this summer after 38 years with the firm.  “Ray’s wide range of client and leadership experiences will serve him well in taking on this important role for our market and the firm.”

A native Detroiter and proud to call this community his home, Telang joined PwC’s Detroit office in 1988 and previously served as the Greater Michigan market assurance leader where he led more than 350 partners and staff. He is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in Michigan and New York and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Telang received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and currently serves on the Paton Accounting Advisory Board of its Ross Business School, as well as the Audit Committee of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

A promising future in downtown Detroit

With veteran partner Telang leading the practice, PwC, which provides auditing and assurance, tax and consulting services, has recommitted to a future in downtown Detroit. The firm signed a multi-year lease to occupy approximately 70,000 square feet of the building located at 500 Woodward in the heart of the city. The firm will occupy three floors of the landmark building.

In addition to signaling its faith in an exciting and thriving part of the central business district, PwC chose the building to accommodate its new flexible workspace needs and growing workforce.

Commenting on his strategic vision for the practice, Telang stated, “Greater Michigan is home to some of the nation’s most notable companies, and PwC is committed to delivering high quality services to assist our clients in managing their growth. We see a bright future here and intend to continue our commitment to the city of Detroit and to the community in our new space.”

In talking about the new workspace, Telang noted that PwC’s business and culture are based on building relationships, providing quality services and delivering value for our clients.

“We’re building our space based on feedback from our people, which will include the traditional enclosed offices and a more modern and progressive open floor plan, to enhance team collaboration and client service delivery,” Telang said.  “This will be aided by advanced media sharing technologies throughout the office.  We’re building the workplace of the future with a focus on efficiency, personal flexibility and a concern for the environment.”

About the PwC Network

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© 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

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