Research from banking giant HSBC has revealed stiff competition for talent meant companies having to diversify how they were attracting and retaining staff to achieve high growth ambitions.
‘Global businesses face a battle for talent as they look to grow by investing in people,’ said Aline Ayotte, head of commercial banking at HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
‘Business leaders are responding by enhancing the ways in which they are attracting and retaining their people, including non-financial factors such as wellbeing, flexible working policies, and training and development.
Businesses in international financial centres such as Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man should also pay attention to these trends.
‘As IFCs competing for skills in a global marketplace, they need to respond accordingly if they are to attract and retain talent and meet their growth objectives.’
The pandemic had shifted employees’ expectations globally of what they wanted from their job.
Business were consequently adapting working arrangements and enhancing staff support to attract top talent and incentivise staff not to look elsewhere.
‘With the pandemic putting corporate purpose on centre stage, we expect businesses to increase investment in their staff as they look to enhance and build their company cultures and workplace environments,’ she added.
The research polled more than 2,100 business leaders from 10 global markets and found companies expect their workforces to increase by an average of 13% in the next 12 months, with two in five planning to increase headcount by 20% or more.
But companies are facing a battle for talent, with seven in 10 (70%) globally planning to increase headcount, while just 12% of businesses plan reductions to their workforce.
Succeeding in the battle for talent would be crucial to driving long-term profitability, the report found.
Three quarters (77%) of businesses saw a ‘strong’ relationship between investment in workforce and profitability, as they targeted almost 20% revenue growth on average over the next 12 months.
Seven in 10 (69%) businesses were already investing in their workforce in some way, through hiring, upskilling or training, with a further 28% planning to do so in future.
The research also found non-financial factors such as wellbeing and work-life balance coming to the fore when it came to attracting staff.
Despite salary and benefits still being perceived as the top factor in moving jobs by 46% of business leaders, areas such as flexible working policies (39%) and emphasis on employee physical, mental and financial wellbeing (36%) were set to become just as important for employees.
Amid these changes, two thirds (67%) of those surveyed saw remote/hybrid working as crucial to enabling the enhancement of future growth. Four in 10 (39%) business leaders believed offering staff a flexible working arrangement was a key driver for both attracting and retaining staff.
As a result, the most popular future workplace option was a ‘fully flexible’ approach to remote working – where employees could freely determine whether they go into the office or stay at home – with a third of businesses (34%) planning to implement this policy.