Career conversations at EY

Retention / Talent development

Relationship: February 2015 – Now
Sector: Professional services

In their words...

"We wanted to make sure we were offering a service that was powerful and different compared with what we had before. The session gave us exactly what we needed in terms of tools and techniques. It also challenged me to think about some of my expectations of the service we were providing. "

Nicola Pye
Senior Manager, Firm Wide Talent Development / The Ernst and Young

View LinkedIn profile


In the new world of work where technology has taken on a pervasive presence, there has never been a stronger imperative for leaders to have greater flexibility to engage in conversations in different ways.

With support from The Conversation Space (TCS) EY has created and developed a well thought-through approach to how they manage 21 st century Career Conversations in their talent centre. They are acutely aware that the notion of the term “career” for their newly qualified accountants is somewhat different to what it used to be 10, even 5 years ago. This has meant a re-think in the approach and skills used by talent advisers when handling Career Conversations.

EY chose to work with TCS to equip their talent advisers with the confidence and capability to hold impactful and insightful career dialogues that help increase employee retention and reduce employee attrition.


TCS worked with Nicola Pye (Senior Manager, Firm-Wide Talent Development) and her wider team to create a bespoke 1.5 day experience tailored around how to hold impactful and insightful career conversations.

The workshop also explored how to share organisational learning with key internal sponsors so that the needs of both employees and the organisation could be aligned.


The success of the Talent Centre Career Conversations are featured in David Clutterbuck’s recent book Building and Sustaining a Coaching Culture.

“One of the greatest qualities of the Talent Centre is the unique opportunity it provides participants with; time to think. In a fast-paced environment, being in a space with a trained, skilled, emotionally present, and genuinely interested human being, who is not just going to tell you what to do is rare.

This is clearly valued by users as their biggest source of referrals is word of mouth.

EY are acutely aware that recruiting and retaining their future talent means exploring traditional assumptions about careers. It has meant working with a spirit of inquiry, building trusting relationships and having the courage to challenge the traditional notions of career development.”

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