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US executives optimistic for 2019, talent acquisition top serious concern

November 15, 2018

Executives are optimistic about their businesses growth in 2019 but concerned about a shortage of available talent, according to the Employer Associations of America’s 2018 National Business Trends Survey.

Nearly 74% of executive surveyed described their projected 2019 business outlook as a slight to significant increase in sales/revenue. And more than half, 54%, reported they plan to hire permanent staff in 2019, with 72% hiring to fill newly created jobs.

Survey respondents’ top-five serious concerns within the next year include:

  1. Talent acquisition: 54%
  2. Talent retention: 41%
  3. Ability to pay for benefit costs: 28%
  4. Ability to pay competitive wages: 33%
  5. Competition in general: 28%

Looking longer-term, the executives cited the following as their top serious concerns within the next five years:

  1. Talent acquisition: 57%
  2. Talent retention: 48%
  3. Ability to pay for benefit costs: 43%
  4. Ability to pay competitive wages: 40%
  5. Competition in general: 34%

Respondents identified adjusting pay ranges upward, focusing on existing staff receiving additional training and development, and increasing starting salaries as the top strategies to overcome recruitment and retention challenges.

The 2018 survey included 1,295 participating organizations throughout the US.

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