In the current financial climate, the attraction and retention of skilled employees is regarded as the pivotal source of competitive advantage for businesses, new research has suggested.
A poll of nearly 200 senior executives of UK firms, conducted by business services firm KPMG, found that 83% of respondents said human capital was the key to maintaining an edge over competitors.
Three-quarters of companies in the survey said the UK fell short in terms of skills, particularly literacy and numeracy. And two-thirds of respondents said the current skills shortage was damaging the success and effectiveness of their business. Only 3% said the skills shortage had not had a negative impact on their business.
Recruitment issues faced by organisations included:
- finding people with the skills to provide good ‘customer service’ (73%)
- the ‘cost of employment’ (69%)
- ‘increased flexibility of the workforce’ (62%).
Ronnie McCombe, head of people services at KPMG said employers were becoming increasingly aware that skilled employees have a crucial role to play in the performance of a business.
“It is very frustrating for those businesses who spend time and money to train staff only to lose them not long after. In the past few years, we have seen a number of companies, looking to adopt a more strategic approach to these challenges, implementing a reward strategy designed to make a clear and tangible difference to the business bottom line,” McCombe said.