Recruiting staff a top priority for UK firms

Hiring new staff is a key priority for almost half of UK businesses in the coming years, according to the latest Lloyds Bank 'Business Barometer'.

Road marked with years going into the future
Published to mark the 20th anniversary of the barometer, the report found that for 47% of the 600 businesses surveyed staff recruitment represented a top priority when asked about the major challenges and opportunities faced in the past two decades...and the anticipated challenges up to 2040 and beyond.
Related reading from the Winter 2022 issue of Think Global People

Innovation and sales in focus

Respondents also identified the development of new products and services (36%) and increasing online sales (30%) as major targets."These predictions mirror the factors which businesses cited as having had the biggest impact on their operations in the past 20 years – chiefly greater access to information and more online purchasing changing customer behaviour," said Lloyds.Some 38% of companies reported that advances in technology had had the biggest positive impact on their businesses in the past 20 years, but 83% of them felt the next two decades would be more challenging than the past two.Lloyds said that some of the challenges could be linked back to the pandemic, including rising costs (23%) and the ability to recruit staff (11%).

Talent, technology and taxation

Additionally, just over one in ten businesses saw the need to stay abreast of technological developments as their biggest challenge in the next two to three years.Government provision of greater access to more vocational-based learning was seen by 44% of firms as being a way to help mitigate these challenges. However, about half of companies also believed that future growth opportunities would need to be supported by more favourable taxation policies and by new trade agreements with major trading partners.Paul Gordon, Managing Director for SME and Mid-Corporates at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said, “The Business Barometer has provided unique insights into the views of British businesses for 20 years. In that time, we have seen a seismic shift in the economic context in the UK, as well as the extraordinary ability of business leaders to adapt and evolve to meet changing market needs."

Businesses 'gearing up for growth'

“Perhaps it is not unsurprising that, having faced a quite unprecedented period of late and enormous change over the last 20 years, the majority of business leaders feel the next 20 years will be more challenging," continued Paul Gordon.“To help them through this, businesses are looking for support on skills, finance, trade and taxation to navigate in this environment."One thing that is clear is that our businesses and business leaders are incredibly resourceful and resilient and are adept at facing into constant change. They tell us they are gearing up for growth and expect to increase headcount, enhancing their service offering or utilising new technologies."

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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