Employers Struggle to Retain Talent But Less Than One in Ten Business Owners Think Training Staff is Important

The Esme SME Study 2017 delves into the business challenges and priorities of SMEs


Esme’s SME Study 2017 revealed that more than one in five (22%) of SME owners are struggling to hire and retain the right employees, with one in ten admitting they do not know how to retain staff. Also, more than a third (35%) of business owners believe the UK’s current economic climate will negatively impact their business looking forward – showing why it’s important to hold onto a strong team.




What factors do employers think attract talent?

  • More than a third (36%) said a competitive salary is the most important element looking for and retaining staff
  • One in five (20%) felt rewards and bonuses was the second most important way to attract staff
  • Almost one in six (16%) thought providing opportunities for progression and promotions was key to attracting talent
  • Less than one in ten (7%) believe training opportunities helped to retain employees
  • Only 4% thought company benefits helped when attracting and retaining the right staff

How can employers retain their staff in the future?


There’s many ways employers can look after their talent. Earlier this year, a survey by CV-Library revealed nine in ten professionals would be less likely to seek new employment if their current role offered training and development – with 93% saying they felt more valued when offered these opportunities.


We spoke to Alessia Sannazzaro, Project Director at Code & Wander – a digital studio who partners with startups and brands to create bespoke and meaningful experiences – for her expertise on how they attract and retain their talent.


“I believe company culture plays a big role in retaining staff. Making the team feel appreciated, rewarded and providing a friendly and exciting working environment, for some people, can be more valuable than a bigger pay check, which startups can’t afford. We attract and retain talent by offering a unique company culture about building digital products and travelling the world.”



For more advice on how SME owners can attract, train and retain talent, read through our business guides.

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