In a comprehensive study conducted across 44 companies worldwide, results have shown that employers face greater challenges in recruiting sales, business development, capture and bid management staff compared to retaining them. The research, from a multinational professional services firm Shipley, sought to understand the dynamics of staff retention and recruitment within the global business winning landscape.

The project featured a diverse range of respondents, including a significant presence from the United States (41%), followed by Australia and New Zealand (20%), the UK and EU (16%), Korea (12%), India (4%), and the Middle East (2%). A majority of these companies hold an annual revenue exceeding $100 million. 57% of respondents were at Executive Leadership level in their company, 39% were Project Managers and 4% were listed as Individual Contributors.

According to the survey, when it comes to retaining top talent, over half of the employers (53%) reported minimal issues. However, the recruitment of business winning professionals appears to be a significant obstacle for many businesses.

Just 32% of respondents reported having minimal issues in this area, with a significant 34% disagreeing, and an additional 7% expressing strong disagreement.

The study also found that 25% said staff were potentially not reaching their career potential.

Shipley UK Board Director Paul Deighton and study author commented:

“These findings illustrate the challenges faced by companies of all shapes and sizes particularly on recruitment. Staff retention appears to be a manageable aspect for a large majority, the challenge of recruiting valuable personnel remains prevalent.

“The insights discovered in this research underline the urgent need for new and innovative strategies in attracting skilled professionals – this is felt in all industries, with anecdotal evidence reinforcing this position.

“Another critical area highlighted is the need for improvement in enabling employees to achieve their full potential, with one quarter believing that this was potentially not currently happening. We have suggested four leadership recommendations:

• Give people the authority to prioritise their work and make their own decisions.
• Provide opportunities to develop expert, or master-level skills.
• Encourage a sense of belonging and teamwork.
• Create environments where people can safely learn from mistakes – which is not easy when mistakes may lose their employer contracts

“Businesses should use this information, even if they’re not facing these challenges today, in order to develop strategies to prevent potential issues arising.”