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 of England.
What's changed since December 2021?
- Optimism in the East of England about the country’s economic prospects has continued to decline this year, falling a further 5% since December to 56% (below the national average at 65%)
- Of the mid-sized businesses in the East of England surveyed, 50% are experiencing unusually high attrition rates – with more people leaving their business than normal. Although this is below the national average of 62%.
- Businesses are not just losing people, they're also finding it difficult to attract new talent. Half of the region’s businesses are struggling to recruit new people to replace the talent being lost (50%) and to recruit for additional new roles to support their growth (56%).
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. Over half (60%) are offering higher salaries for new roles, and more than two thirds (68%) confirmed they are offering pay rises or bonuses to help retain their existing people.
Many businesses in the East of England are also willing to adopt innovative new working styles in a bid for talent. Nearly three quarters (74%) said they would be likely to trial a four-day working week in their business, in line with the current pilot in the UK.
James Brown, Practice Leader Central Region at Grant Thornton UK LLP, said:
“As our research shows, mid-sized businesses in the East of England are doing all they can to attract new people but the last two years have had a significant impact on what people prioritise, resulting in some re-thinking their career path or role. This has led to many companies experiencing unusually high staff turnover rates and facing a recruitment struggle.
“Today’s job seekers consider a much broader picture when deciding where to work, and a company’s overall employer brand and offering has never been more important.
“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.”