HR decision makers rank biggest challenge as recruitment and retention.

GRiD research show people challenge.

HR decision makers at larger businesses say that recruiting and retaining talent is the biggest challenge their organisation currently faces. The finding emerged from research undertaken by GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector.

“The battle for talent has always been closely fought among larger employers, and with high employment and continuing pressure for increased productivity and growth, it’s not going to get any easier,” notes Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Group Risk Development (GRiD) commented:


Key challenges faced by UK businesses according to HRs:


Challenge Percentage of large employers (250+employees) Percentage of SME employers (<250 employees)
Recruiting and retaining good talent 56 39
Understanding what gaps there are in your knowledge, eg legal, HR, employment law 49 26
Keeping on top of, and complying with legislation 47 42
Growing the business 46 52
Managing budgets 46 28
Managing HR issues, including absence 45 23
Knowing what employee benefits to offer staff 39 17
Looking after the health and wellbeing of staff 36 23
Knowing where to go for specialist advice e.g. legal, HR, employment law 36 19
Keeping afloat 20 17


However, recruiting and retaining staff is made easier when companies can demonstrate that they’ll be well looked after. This might include a clear path for career progression, an attractive environment and good working conditions. Demonstrating support for health and wellbeing is also important; looking after the health and wellbeing of staff is a challenge for 36 per cent of larger companies but when this is given more priority it can go a long way to attract and keep a loyal workforce.

As legislation and employment law continually change, large corporates say they also struggle with this. ‘Understanding what gaps HRs have in their knowledge’ is a challenge for nearly half (49 per cent) of larger employers, and ‘keeping on top of and complying with legislation’ is an issue for 47 per cent, highlighted in the research carried out amongst over 100 large corporates.

Just under half of larger employers (45 per cent) say that managing HR issues, including absence management, is an issue, which is in contrast to SMEs where it is still a problem but less severe with 23 per cent of SMEs saying it’s a challenge. There may be a tendency to be less loyal in larger companies and for many large organisations (perhaps utilising a third-party absence-management system) an employee calling in sick, whether truly ill or otherwise, is less conspicuous than within a smaller organisation.

Financial concerns were also evident, with nearly a half (46 per cent) citing ‘growing the business’ and ‘managing budgets’ being a challenge, and ‘staying afloat’ an issue for one in five.

“It’s clear from these findings that, for larger employers, group risk products and employee benefits as whole may not be uppermost in their minds. However, if deployed well, such products can really help support a business and its employees through many of their operational challenges, from providing support for absence management through to access to HR and legal advice,” said Moxham. “It’s been an extremely interesting exercise to view the business landscape through the lens of HRs. Putting great people management at the heart of an organisations’ planning would no doubt reduce some of the current challenges faced by many larger businesses today.”


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