Talent war looms for mid-market businesses

In Sage’s annual Business Index, the company recently surveyed 2000 medium sized businesses in 17 countries. The highlights of the report identifies that recruitment and retention, together with managing cash flow and expanding into new markets or geographies, will be the biggest challenges for mid-market businesses in South Africa in the next year.

·    More than a third of companies in the international survey say governments should be doing more to improve skills development and education.

·       A lack of a skilled workforce to recruit from is also a major obstacle in all countries.

Attracting and retaining the right employees is a top priority for mid-sized companies in the coming months, according to research published recently by Sage. Through its annual Business Index, Sage surveyed nearly 2,000 medium sized businesses in 17 countries.

The survey showed that the war for talent is hotting up as economies start to recover, business confidence rises and companies look to key hires and star employees to drive and sustain growth.

More than a third of mid-market businesses said governments should be doing more to improve skills development and education to boost business confidence (39% across all markets).


And 14 per cent of businesses surveyed said that recruitment and retention were the biggest challenge for them in the next year.


A lack of a skilled workforce to recruit from was also a leading challenge to doing business for many mid-market companies. 12% across all markets cited this as one of the biggest challenges.


In South-Africa, the top three challenges for businesses that are growing are recruitment and retention (19%), managing cash flow (19%), expanding in to new markets or geographies (14%).


“Companies are getting squeezed in the war for talent at a time of unprecedented competition,” said Christophe Letellier, CEO, Sage Mid-Market. “Differentiation between businesses is essential as potential candidates start to focus on what tools and processes an organisation can offer skilled staff members. Now more than ever, businesses in the mid-market space need to ensure they are giving staff access to the latest, smartest, most effective tools and technology.


“Mid-market businesses are the unsung heroes of the global economy, and the bedrock of that success are the people. Businesses need to do everything they can to ensure they attract the right talent, so they can continue to grow and succeed.”


Other problems cited by South African businesses included too much bureaucracy and legislation (24%) and the government’s handling of current economic challenges (17%).


The annual Business Index survey found that optimism among mid-market businesses – defined as those above 100 employees in the survey – found business optimism at a three-year high.


The Index showed that mid-market companies were positive about their own prospects, recording a score of 65.82 out of 100. Mid-market companies were markedly less optimistic about the prospects for their respective country’s economy (53.19) and about the global economy (52.41).



As part of the Sage Business Index 2013, Sage commissioned Populus to survey 1,825 decision-makers in mid-market business (100+ employees) in 17 countries, between 31 July and 28 August 2013. The research follows similar studies conducted in 2011 and 2012. All data is available on request.         

Sage ERP Africa


Sage ERP Africa is a provider of business management solutions, including financial, distribution, service management, retail, warehouse management, project costing, manufacturing and CRM, to the mid-range market. Sage ERP solutions are delivered to 130 countries exclusively through a global network of solution providers, including over 150 throughout Africa. The Sage ERP Africa product line includes: Sage ERP X3, Sage 300 ERP (formerly Sage ERP Accpac), Sage ERP 1000, Sage CRM and Sage RMS as well as Sage third party partner solutions. With a choice of languages, currencies, locations and legislations – Sage ERP offers efficient multi company and multi-national solutions.


About Sage

The Sage Group plc is a leading global provider of business management software to small and medium sized companies, creating greater freedom for them to succeed. Sage understands how and why each business is unique. We provide products and services that suit varying needs, are a pleasure to use and are secure and efficient. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has over 6 million customers and more than 13,380 employees in 23 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia and Brazil. For further information please visit www.sage.com

For more information contact Aloma Swanepoel at Watt Communications:


011 425 6290

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