Article by Tamara Seif Gravitas, EEON Committee Member
According to annual HR CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, UK) 41% of business leaders and over 2,780 market executives across 21 countries (includes US, Canada and Australia) shows that there is global confidence in business growth, also positively impacting recruitment for diversity. Diversity has shot to the top of the recruitment agenda, with 41% of respondents citing it as the greatest hiring priority compared to only 11% in 2017. The report findings indicate that there is a strong correlation between CEOs prioritizing diversity as a recruitment objective and those with the least diverse executive teams.
For those companies who have already built diverse executive leadership, the focus is on talent with strong digital skills, according to the Growth Barometer. Over half (56%) of company leaders are looking to build digital competencies through new hires.
Majority of growth ambition is being driven from Asia Pacific region with four in ten companies in China, Southeast Asia and Australia beginning to target double digit growth, some 13% more than the global average of 6%. (See Reference)
Mostly this is due to the race to embrace Intelligent Automation and Machine learning, whose markets have evolved rapidly since last year. In 2017, almost three quarters (74%) of global middle market CEOs said they would never adopt robotic process automation (RPA), yet just 12 months later 73% of respondents say they are already adopting or planning to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) within two years.
Secondly, Regulation is driving, not stifling Innovation
This year regulation has emerged as driving change not obstructing it. In a major shift in opinion, leaders from all sectors and regions, except in North America, regard regulation as a key driver of innovation (25%), topped only by profitability (27%).
Thirdly, Sector convergence accelerates
Industry convergence has risen as another major disruptive force to growth, with almost one in four global business leaders (23%) seeing it as second only to demographic shifts (33%) as having the most significant impact on business. Among US leaders, convergence is the top disruptive force to growth ambitions (31%).
And finally, Hiring for Diversity – Hiring diverse and skilled talent are key to growth ambitions.
In a show of confidence that growth is sustainable, 39% of companies plan to hire full-time talent in the next 12 months.
However, a lack of skilled talent remains a major cause for concern, especially in those in areas of the world where talent shortages have been exacerbated by skills flight, such as Brazil and Mexico.
Concerns over cash flow and funding remain
While access to credit continues to be an issue, this year company leaders cite insufficient cash flow as a more significant challenge, with more than one in three (35%) ranking it first with Women led- companies most significantly affected by a lack of funding, with nearly one in five (18%) citing access to capital as a major barrier to growth, compared to 11% of their male-led peers.
Tamara Seif is a highly experienced HR professional who has held senior strategic roles over her 17-year career. Commercially astute in change management and stakeholder engagement, Tamara has worked across many organisations in blue chip, government, health care, not-for-profits and SMEs across the UK and Australia. She is highly passionate about Gender Equality; Women on Board Leadership and also specialises in coaching organisations in Intersectionality, Cognitive Diversity and Unconscious Bias’. She is a member of a number of boards in the UK including Promediate UK and Equilibrium Consulting and supports a number of children’s charities. She can be found at