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Regional insights

The view from the South West

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 South West.

What's changed since December 2021?

As we start the year, optimism about the country’s economic prospects remains fairly consistent with how we ended 2021. 66% of South West businesses remain optimistic, just above the national average of 65%.

Of the mid-sized businesses in the South West of England surveyed, 74% are experiencing unusually high attrition rates – with more people leaving their business than normal. This is above the national average of 62%.

More than two thirds (70%) are offering higher salaries for new roles, and over three quarters (77%) confirmed they are offering pay rises or bonuses to help retain their existing people.

The battle for talent

Competing in the talent market 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 nearly nine in ten (89%) offering flexible working opportunities as standard, and 79% currently reviewing their employee benefits package to make it more competitive.

120x120-jonathan-riley.pngJonathan Riley, Partner, Practice Leader, Bristol and South West commented:

“With job vacancies reaching record highs in November, the ‘Great Resignation’ has made the fight for talent among organisations fierce. As our research shows, the South West’s mid-sized businesses 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. At Grant Thornton, our employee benefits team are seeing this first hand, as businesses are looking ever more closely at what people want from their work and how a firm’s benefits package can be tailored to unlock its full value and reframed around what matters to their people.”

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