New research has revealed the top issues mid-sized businesses face when it comes to managing their workforce. The GE capital survey of 630 companies found that the highest ranked challenge was retaining talented employees, perhaps a reflection of the economy turning a corner and the prospect of increasing employee demands. It could also be a reflection of a general shortage of skills. Around 22 per cent of firms said finding the right skill set in the local area was a major challenge. The same proportion said they struggled to provide competitive wages, which could Ilaria del Beato, UK CEO of GE Capital, said: ?As the economy picks up the top three talent challenges look to be a reflection of the increasing competitiveness within the UK economy. ?As growth increases, so does the need for these businesses to reward current workers and make additions where ability or capacity might be lacking. Talent retention needs to stay at the top of the agenda and if mid-sized businesses can react to this problem then they can look to the future with optimism.? In the north of England, firms were more likely to say they struggled to find the right business leaders for their future than those in the south. Interestingly, 45 per cent said they faced little or no challenge as a result of international competition for workers. This could be because the UK is an attractive location for migrant workers, but could also reflect an unwillingness of UK workers to relocate overseas. Beato added: ?Despite being responsible for a third of employment in the UK, mid-market firms are too often the unsung heroes of the economy. Their focus on talent and HR is likely to be one of the reasons for their relative success in recent times; great businesses are made up of great people.?
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