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As the world evolves, so too do industries and their respective workplaces. Each year changing demographics, new economic realities and technological advancements radically redefine the modern workplace. Towards the end of 2019, MSI Recruiting conducted a comprehensive client survey to better understand what those changes are direct from the source, and how the insights derived will influence business practices, business activities and business growth in 2020. The information derived points to a range of new developments and augmentations which we hope you will consider a springboard upon which to make necessary adjustments to your own work environments, in order to drive business plan objectives forward and achieve your annual goals.

Survey Results:

  1. Have you changed the company culture to stay up to date with the latest trends?
    • 58.1% reported yes
    • 41.9% reported no

    As shown, 58.1% of employers surveyed have made changes to their workplaces to ensure a more rewarding and enjoyable environment for their staff. A thriving workplace culture is important because it links company culture with things like employee engagement, happiness, productivity, retention rate and positive recruitment effort, which 58.1% found would increase by staying on top of new company culture trends.

  1. Have the salaries in your company increased this year in an effort to increase employee attraction and retention?
    • 54.8% reported no
    • 45.2% reported yes

    Just over half of our clients surveyed answered that they had not increased salaries this year to increase employee retention and attraction. This is potentially due to an unstable start to the 2019 economic year. As 2020 is poised for economic growth, we anticipate that more businesses will increase salaries as part of their attraction and retention strategies.

  1. Has the average tenure of your employees changed?
    • 41.9% reported no
    • 32.3% reported yes, increased
    • 25.8% reported yes, decreased

    Almost 42% of clients surveyed stated that the average tenure of their employees had remained the same. The 32.3% who had experienced an increase may have experienced growth due to positive changes to their business environments being favorable for staff, as opposed to the 25.8% that experienced a decrease.

  1. What’s the work environment at your company like?
    • 54.8% reported collaborative
    • 35.5% reported both
    • 9.7% reported independent

    Just under 55% of all clients surveyed reported that their work environment was collaborative. This seems to align with a growing trend in business today that speaks to how collaborative teams are more productive overall than teams where each member is sectioned off in their own position.

  1. Which departments have increased headcount this year?
    • 44% reported Accounting and Finance
    • 12% reported Human Resources
    • 60% reported Operations
    • 44% reported Information Technology
    • 36% reported Marketing
    • 20% reported Administrative
    • 44% reported Sales

    Despite variations in percentages, several departments within businesses have shown an increase in hires. Operations is at 60% as effective operations are at the core of business success. Accounting and Finance, along with IT and Sales at 44% are reflective of the number of new opportunities within these industries, which are positioned for even greater growth in 2020.

  1. Have any of the following departments had a reduction in headcount?
    • 50% reported Accounting and Finance
    • 14.3% reported Human Resources
    • 50% reported Operations
    • 35.7% reported Information Technology
    • 7.1% reported Marketing
    • 57.1% reported Administrative
    • 21.4% reported Sales

    While several businesses surveyed showed an increase in headcount for these departments (see previous survey question), others experienced a decline. This may be due to certain industries flourishing whereas others experienced a decline, which can lead to employee downsizing.

  1. What were the most difficult departments to recruit for this year?
    • 26.7% reported Accounting and Finance
    • 6.7% reported Human Resources
    • 26.7% reported Operations
    • 40% reported Information Technology
    • 13.3% reported Marketing
    • 6.7% reported Administrative
    • 26.7% reported Sales

    The two most difficult departments to recruit for in 2019 according to surveyed clients were Information Technology and Accounting and Finance, with 40% and 26.7% of businesses experiencing hiring issues respectively. As jobs in these areas of specialization are high (see our blogs Growing Demand for Top Talent in U.S. Financial Sector and Career Opportunities Set to Thrive in Healthcare and Technology Over the Next Decade) the hiring struggles may be a result of increased competition for gold star employees amid the talent drought, who may have accepted positions at alternative companies.

  1. What are the three most important soft skills needed for success in your company?
    • 54.8% reported Communication
    • 45.2% reported Teamwork
    • 51.6% reported Adaptability
    • 29% reported Problem Solving
    • 9.7% reported Conflict Resolution
    • 12.9% reported Leadership
    • 29% reported Self-confidence
    • 16.1% reported Time Management
    • 45.2% reported Strong Work Ethic
    • 25.8% reported Positive Attitude

    While all employee soft skills in the survey are essential for business success, the top four highly-valued in the modern workplace by surveyed clients were Communication, Adaptability, and Teamwork and a Strong Work Ethic coming in at a joint third place. Communication at 54.8% is most prized because it ensures staff work well together, tasks are understood and can be actioned successfully and concepts can be explained clients and colleagues without any misinterpretations. Adaptability at 51.6% reflects the growing trend for employees who can adapt to changing roles and align with changes in the workplace fueled by technology, culture, industry regulations etc. Teamwork is valued as it contributes effective problem solving and easier achievement of goals.

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