Every two months, we ask business leaders across the country to share their expectations and priorities for the future. We want to track how sentiment is changing in the market and get insight on timely issues: from tax to ESG.
Read the latest views from business leaders in the East Midlands.
What's changed since December 2021?
As we start the year, optimism about the country’s economic prospects remains consistent with how we ended 2021. 62% of East Midlands’ businesses remain optimistic, just below the national average of 65%
Of the mid-sized businesses in the East Midlands surveyed, the vast majority (84%) are experiencing unusually high attrition rates – with more people leaving their business than normal. This is above the national average of 62%
Many businesses in the East Midlands are willing to adopt innovative new working styles in a bid for talent. More than half (60%) said they would be likely to trial a four-day working week in their business, in line with the current pilot in the UK
The battle for talent
Amid the ongoing battle for talent, many mid-sized businesses are doing everything they can to both attract new people and retain existing employees. Nearly two thirds (62%) are offering higher salaries for new roles, and a similar number (60%) confirmed they are offering pay rises or bonuses to help retain their existing people.
Effectively competing in the talent market also requires looking beyond just salary, with jobseekers increasingly taking the wider employee offering into consideration. The research finds that the mid-market is responding to this, with the majority (60%) offering flexible working opportunities as standard and 70% are currently reviewing their employee benefits package to make it more competitive.
Sue Knight, Partner and Practice Leader in the Midlands, said:
“With job vacancies reaching record highs in November, the ‘Great Resignation’ has made the fight for talent among organisations fierce.
“The rise in hybrid working has allowed people to achieve a better work-life balance, while still providing the opportunity for collaboration and human connection in the office. Employers who can continue to offer this flexibility will be much better placed than those who don’t. The fundamental change to ways of working also means that it’s vital for organisations to ensure they have effective people managers, as the old adage that people leave their manager, not their employer, is still often the case.
“A business’ success ultimately hinges on its people and with the job market highly competitive, looking beyond the normal recruitment pathways is crucial. Businesses should be challenging themselves to consider whether it’s possible to recruit from a wider talent pool or to develop and retrain their existing people into new roles to fill potential skills gaps. Apprenticeships, for example, can be a very effective way of achieving both goals, while also increasing diversity within an organisation.”