Talent the top concern for Australia’s business leaders in 2023

Digital transformation and cybersecurity are also among organisation’s top priorities, a KPMG Australia survey has found.
By: | January 6, 2023

Talent, which involves recruiting, retaining, and upskilling employees, is the biggest challenge organisations in Australia are facing in 2023, according to KPMG Australia’s annual survey. Business executives ranked talent as their top concern both over the short and medium term, with 77% naming it as the top challenge in 2023, compared to 69% last year.

Ranked second is optimising and extracting value from digital transformation, which is up from fourth last year. Generally, digital was a theme which permeated KPMG’s fifth edition of the Keeping us up at night report, and upskilling staff to meet a more digitised future was a key aspect of the talent issue. This is followed by cybersecurity, which was ranked third, down from second last year, due to the decline in remote working.

Alison Kitchen, Chairman of KPMG, said, “While we are advocating for an improvement in Australia’s migration system to help address the talent supply, our respondents rightly acknowledge they need to implement actions to keep talented people and provide a work environment that fosters learning, development and growth.”

READ: Australia plans to strengthen skills sector with A$402 million investment

The survey also pointed out that the issue of identifying and growing future markets and innovation opportunities for growth has been elevated to the top five issues for the next few years at the expense of increasing agility and flexibility in the organisation to address opportunities and challenges.

A possible interpretation of this change in priorities, according to the survey, is that business leaders anticipate a choppier business environment in 2023, so maintaining agility and flexibility during market adjustments will likely be of greater importance than medium-term revenue growth, which will take precedence once the expected slowdown in 2023 comes to an end.