Mid-size companies engaged in ‘war for talent’

Andrew Hodgson

Andrew Hodgson

Despite the high cost of replacing talented staff, the majority of mid-sized companies in the country still have an erratic approach to keeping their people happy, according to new research from KPMG.

In a study of 223 leaders of mid-sized companies (with a turnover of between £10m to £500m), only 29% of businesses described their approach to talent retention as “formalised”.

Meanwhile, nearly half – 44% – said their approach was “thorough but unplanned, with lots of initiatives which were not integrated into an overall strategy”.

A further 27% admitted their approach was nothing more than ad-hoc.

Andrew Hodgson, Senior Partner for KPMG’s Bristol office, said: “Talented people take time and cost money to replace. So by not adopting more formalised talent management strategies, companies are almost fighting this war with one hand tied behind their back.”

An invaluable tool companies can use in trying to keep their staff is the exit interview.

Exit interviews can identify problems that companies may not be aware of, but which can be dealt with in order to prevent other people from moving.

Yet despite the obvious need for employers to carefully review information gleaned from exit interviews, only half of employers (50.4%) said they felt they got a full and honest picture of why someone was leaving them.

Andrew added: “Employers generally like to think that staff members have been lured away by competitors. For employees, however, the number one reason for moving on is to seek better career opportunities.

“Developing a culture where there is greater focus on honesty and regular feedback and recognition throughout the year would go leaps and bounds towards talent retention.”