We were excited to present our annual Executive Outlook findings to a packed audience of business leaders last month, drawing on in-depth interviews with 100 business leaders.  There was such a great vibe; we hope you enjoy these highlights.

71% of business leaders are optimistic about the road ahead. Others feel more cautious, in the face of huge digital disruptions. 45% of leaders signalled their intention to increase staff levels in the next 6 months, which lines up with an overall optimistic outlook.

Dealing with regulations showed up as our most significant issue. There’s a cost to resource these bureaucratic platforms (we heard this time and again)!  Leaders are engaging extra staff to cope, and absorbing many of the pressures in their own roles. This has likely contributed to the current shortage of compliance specialists.

We have strengthened our use of due diligence and protocols to mitigate cyber threats and data security. This has paved the way for cybersecurity specialists, to tackle hackers, leaks and identity fraud.

47% of firms in Executive Outlook are impacted by skill shortages. The market is tight across trades and professional areas, such as:

  • Panel beaters, diesel mechanics, electricians, plumbers (across the board)!
  • Social media, content managers and digital marketers, as well as web and ap developers.
  • Qualified experienced accountants broadly have 4 or 5 roles to choose from.
  • Registered nurses and carers, to support an aging population.
  • Experienced, switched-on business developers and property managers.

Now is a good time to hire on potential. Look for transferable skills, like values, attitude and people skills, over qualifications.  (As always, we are here to support your staffing objectives).

67% of business leaders face competition from digital platforms. The mass move to digital platforms raises concerns around how we stay relevant to our target market, compete and match expectations on cost and service.  Another dilemma is finding the time to connect with the different audiences we need to reach.
 
The challenge for business leaders is to identify these risks, evolve and value-add through customer engagement strategies.

“You need to be agile, and build a resilient business”

“You need people, who can engage, think on their feet and build relationships quickly”.

90% of business leaders have embraced the breadth of social media and digital innovations at a local level. LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Ads are our most popular platforms to grow reach, and support word of mouth.

“Staff can work remotely, they are more engaged, travel less and seem happier”.

These strategies enrich the customer’s experience, which drives engagement and opens new markets. 36% of leaders cited culture as their main barrier. This takes in resistance from end users and staff (especially long-term staff). The challenge for leaders is to break through these comfort zones, empower and instil the value.

When we connected digital innovations back to our point of difference, everyone was on the same page. There is a level of service, consultation and advice that people will always want.  Where there is influence, planning and shades of grey, it is much harder for machines to replicate.  It’s these very human skills that will protect us.

“It’s not just about transactions – we need that face to face connection”.

This coincides with a milestone at the Top. We’re celebrating 30 years as a second generation business, helping people achieve their dreams, and sourcing the best talent for our clients.

Training for soft skills is now the #1 priority for talent development

(LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Learning Report)

Click here to view our new Training Calendar for 2019