SMEs lead on flexible work to attract and retain top talent 

Small Business

By Loren Webb

The Executive Connection’s Q3 Confidence Index, released last week, reveals that small-to-medium businesses are most likely to offer flexible working hours and contracts to attract and retain talent.

The CEO Confidence Index is a quarterly survey measuring the confidence of Australian business leaders of small-to-medium enterprises.

The latest Index reveals retaining and attracting talent is a key concern for CEOs, and leaders are increasingly adopting new, people-focused programs to tackle their talent challenges. 

To keep and attract the high-calibre talent, 66% of CEOs are implementing or considering flexible working conditions and 58% are investing in improving company culture.

In addition, professional development programs are a focal point for almost half of all SME leaders (40%), while more than a third of leaders are utilising reward programs (35%), enhanced employee benefits (33%) and career path planning (32%), to attract and retain skilled workers. 

“The start of the new financial year is a critical period for the big decisions including budgets, targets, investment and resourcing. Talent is consistently a top challenge for CEOs of mid-sized organisations and many are indicating that throwing money at the problem is not proving sustainable or effective in attracting and retaining highly skilled workers,” says Stephanie Christopher, CEO, The Executive Connection. 

“With the unemployment rate remaining low and a record level of workforce participation driven by the growth of part-time roles, flexible and fractional working is emerging as a new area of focus for SME leaders looking to attract high-calibre talent in a competitive and fragmented environment.” 

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