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Talent identified as the most pressing issue for 53% of Irish businesses - Deloitte

Dealing with regulatory issues also identified as a significant challenge.

The issues of finding and retaining quality people and dealing with regulatory issues are the most challenging issues currently facing indigenous Irish business, according to findings published by Deloitte today.

The findings emerge as Deloitte prepares to announce its 10th annual list of Best Managed Companies, with 22 new winners joining a requalifying network of more than 100 companies, built over a decade of the programme. The annual symposium and awards gala, in association with Bank of Ireland, will take place today in Dublin.

Over half of the companies surveyed as part of the Best Managed Companies process identified the attraction and retention of qualified staff as a key challenge. This finding underlines the challenge that Irish companies are facing in a talent market where employment levels are expected to surpass pre-recession levels  and the supply of talent is scarcer than in previous years but also where a number of disruptive factors are changing the very nature of work and of workplaces itself.

Commenting on this challenge, Andrew Kerr, Director, Human Capital Consulting at Deloitte and speaker at today’s Best Managed Companies symposium, commented:

Across all industries, the work that we need to do, how we do it and the workplaces we do it in are all changing. Significant increases in contingent working and rise of automation are impacting work and who delivers work. Technology advancements and demographic shifts are changing the nature of work and where we work while operating and business models are changing to keep pace with the rapidly changing environment.

This means that companies require people with skills that may not traditionally have been a requirement within their organisations. Companies now need to assess where they fit in this new world of work and the impact this has on both their structure and indeed their people requirements. Furthermore, one of the key questions that organisations need to ask themselves against this backdrop is how do I make my organisation one where the people with the capabilities and competencies I need want to work?

To answer that our advice to companies is to focus on the talent experience that they can offer.  What is the unique opportunity for people in their organisations? We know that millennials will make up to 75% of the workforce by 2025 so talent offerings will need to reflect their preferences – the desire to have responsibility, a clear career path, work for organisations that have a clear purpose, learning opportunities and a work/life balance. Irrespective of an employee’s generation, strong talent will always look for an employer who provides them with new experiences to develop their capabilities and allow them to continuously learn.

We also learned from our winning companies that the factors that they think gives them a competitive edge in the market place are excellent customer relationship management skills, exceptional or unique products and services and a commitment to continuous improvement. These are factors that all feed into and shape a unique talent experience. Therein lies a competitive talent advantage too.

Over half (53%) of respondents also listed regulation as the most challenging issue facing their company at present.


Anya Cummins, Partner, Deloitte and Lead of the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards Programme said:

The costs, time and expertise that a continually changing regulatory environment demands has been highlighted consistently by winning companies over the past ten years. With the implementation date of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looming in May this year, amongst others, this is an omnipresent challenge for Irish businesses.

The winning companies also outlined how they plan to achieve sustainable growth. Development of existing products and services, expanding into new product or service lines and international expansion were the top three ways companies are planning to achieve this.

Anya Cummins commented:

Over the course of the ten years of the programme, we have watched the network of winning companies move from resilience to growth and into the ambitious and confident companies they are today. Their expansionary mind-set is testament to their ability to operate in uncertain markets and their confidence in the ability of their management teams to drive their businesses forward when it is clearly a case of ‘disruption as usual’.


Issued by Murray on behalf of Deloitte Ireland  

Notes to Editor


About the Research

The findings were captured from Deloitte’s network of indigenous companies participating in the Best Managed Companies programme. Deloitte has collated feedback from approximately 90 companies that will requalify as a Best Managed Company in 2018.

For Further Information Please Contact

Aoibheann O’Sullivan / Jill Farrelly


01 498 0346 / 0304

Claire Quinn


01 417 2356

About Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards

The Deloitte Best Managed Companies programme, in association with Bank of Ireland, promotes and recognises excellence in Irish/Northern Irish owned and managed companies. It is the only awards scheme on the island of Ireland that considers a business’ performance from every perspective. Entrants to the programme will compete for this designation in a rigorous and independent process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

Programme sponsors are Bank of Ireland plc, the Irish Management Institute and the Sunday Business Post. For further information, visit

International History of Best Managed Companies Programme

The Best Managed Companies Programme originated in Canada in 1993, where it has been run successfully ever since and is the country’s leading business awards programme. In addition to Ireland and Canada, the programme is also run in The Netherlands and Mexico.


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