Businesses lack skills needed to meet growth targets

More than half of businesses believe they are lacking the talent needed to meet growth targets, new research has found.

Some 55 per cent of 200 senior employees (vice president level and above) at UK and US firms with at least £750m of turnover believe their organisations lack the skills needed to meet their growth targets.

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North Highland, the management consultancy that carried out the research, said respondents highlighted a a lack of clear strategy to attract, develop and retain talent, a lack of available talent in the marketplace and a lack of training for existing staff.

“What is clear from our research is that building the right talent mix and harmonising performance across teams remains a significant challenge for firms operating today,” said North Highland’s Craig Spence.

“Whilst on the face of it their business is successful now, there was major doubt as to whether they would be able to meet longer-term objectives due to a lack of talent needed to drive their company forward. This goes some way in explaining why just one in 10 of those polled felt their business was performing at its full potential.”

Other key issues included a lack of available talent in the marketplace, a lack of training for existing staff and employees wanting to have varied careers by moving around regularly.

Paul Brown, Head of HR, Business and Application Services EMEIA , Fujitsu:“Having the correct mix of skills in an organisation has never been more important, both to meet current requirements and to futureproof the business. 

The rapid growth of digital technologies is impacting the skills needed in almost every sector and job role, from public services to manufacturing and retail. HR teams must work with business leaders to understand the skills that are needed in roles now and in the future.

“Once the top skills are identified, businesses must then develop active strategies to attract and retain the talent needed. Creating a strong employer brand is important when there is strong competition for skilled candidates.

“Evidence suggests that millennials in particular are drawn to companies that act responsibly and do good, so establishing a positive reputation for the business will be vital for its future success.

“Upskilling existing staff is also vital; reverse mentoring, for example, gives younger team members the opportunity to share their digital skills with others. Ultimately, strong skills strategies will be an important factor in determining which businesses succeed in the digital future.”



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