Survey reveals Irish employers' biggest worry in 2024 is rising costs

Peninsula Team

January 02 2024

2023 was an interesting year for businesses around the world. With energy prices increasing, as well as staff and skill shortages, it’s fair to say employers have had their share of difficulties over the past 12 months.

So, as we enter 2024, what are the main concerns for employers? And how do they aim to attract and maintain top talent? Well, the results from a survey conducted by Peninsula Group provide some insight.

The global employment law, HR, Health & Safety advisory, and consultancy firm surveyed employers in Ireland.

Let’s take a look at what they had to say.

What are the top concerns for employers in 2024?

Overwhelmingly, the biggest concern for employers in Ireland was the rising costs their business could face. Approximately 84% of business owners were in agreement, whilst 45% were worried about the labour shortage their industry faces.

Around 41% were also worried about employee retention rates. This could be the result of a multi-generational workforce, as younger staff members are more likely to prioritise their mental health and seek employers that support this.

If your business fails to focus on employee wellbeing, staff might be more likely to pursue employment elsewhere.

What are employers’ top business goals for 2024?

It’s been a tough few years for companies as a whole, which is why it’s refreshing to see that around 46% of employers are aiming to grow their business in 2024.

In contrast, the second-highest percentage came from over 18% of business owners, who stated that their goal for 2024 was survival. This cynicism comes as no surprise following the national labour shortage, cost of living increase and rising energy costs.

When it comes to staffing, what challenges are employers facing right now?

Over 23% of employers in Ireland have admitted their biggest challenge in business right now is recruiting. Employers might struggle to recruit for many reasons including:

  • Failure to engage candidates.
  • Lack of company benefits.
  • Recruiting expenses.

But, the biggest challenge employers face – as agreed by around 28% of business owners, is pay increase requests. As inflation and the cost of living remain high, employees are seeking better pay to cover this. 

If their employer can’t support this, they’ll likely seek employment elsewhere.

What support are employers offering to aid retention?

No matter what’s going on in the world, employers will always hope to retain the best staff. And, they’re taking a number of steps to do so.

In Ireland, nearly 60% of employers are offering financial remuneration to keep turnover low. For example, they might offer an annual bonus, or private health insurance. Whilst others (47.5%) are choosing to provide flexible working hours.

Flexible working can aid retention as employees have more control over their working lives, aiding them when it comes to finding a work-life balance.

How have employers handled the ongoing labour/ skills shortage?

Unsurprisingly, over 62% of employers surveyed are offering pay increases to combat the ongoing labour/ skills shortage.

Some employers are upskilling and training their staff (48.3%), whilst others are providing flexible working hours (40.1%).

What do the survey results mean for businesses in 2024?

Whilst inflation is falling, Irish business owners in 2024 will still have challenges to face in 2024. Amongst those will be recruitment struggles, whilst other industries face labour and skill shortages.

To retain the best staff, employers are looking into ways they can support their workers. For example, some offer mental health support, whilst others are still choosing to provide flexible working. This enables people to stay in work when their circumstances change.

Get expert advice and help for your business in 2024 from Peninsula

Worried about your business in 2024? Maybe you’re struggling to retain staff, implement policies, or are short on time to spend growing your business. Whatever your company might be facing, Peninsula can help.

With our HR services, you’ll discover an easier and safer way to manage staff. You’ll have access to the best HR advice, time-saving software, legal protection, and more. Not to mention, you’ll enjoy it for a fraction of the cost of hiring internal HR staff.

So, you’ll save money and time – both of which can be spent on growing your business in 2024.

Want to find out more? Contact us on 1800 719 215 and book a free consultation with one of our HR consultants.

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