Why talent issues are most acute in the middle market
While all businesses struggle to hire top talent, the problem is perhaps most acute in the middle market.
With capital expenditure largely focused on day-to-day operations, product innovation and business development, middle market firms often lack the spare capacity to invest heavily in HR and recruitment, or the resources to offer top-quartile salaries. On remuneration alone, they can’t compete with larger MNCs.
With smaller teams and a higher reliance on key individuals, middle market businesses will also be disproportionately affected by looming tenure threats. Every significant staff departure will create a repeating cycle of risks: a significant knowledge drain, reduced returns on training investment and spiralling recruitment costs.
Over the short to medium-term, a lack of development opportunities will continue to be a key reason employees change companies. With management positions often gridlocked, middle market firms will have less capacity to help employees advance. As younger workers increasingly demand varied career paths, middle market businesses could be left behind.