Eye EYE (c) 2016 Pixabay / cocoparisienne https://pixabay.com/en/eye-blue-eye-iris-pupil-face-1173863/ Back from vacation, so here is a quick-fire roundup of last week’s research. Enterprise Times covered several published reports. These include the 2022 State of Organisational Knowledge from Onna, which looked at the top information and knowledge issues faced by US enterprises. Adobe Research revealed the growing importance for brands to understand customers at a personal level.

Other research briefly covered below includes studies by ActiveCampaign, Bullhorn, CIPHR, Intuit, Jenzabar, MYOB, NTT, Procore, Qualtrics, SD Worx, Tradeshift, UKG and Unanet.


Consumers plan to ditch large brands and prioritize small business shopping for their holiday needs, revealing that SMBs need to prioritize the customer experience above all. 84% of consumers plan to shop small this year, according to ActiveCampaign. The company also announced ActiveCampaign’s annual holiday toolkits, which deliver five key steps for organisations to create a winning holiday campaign strategy.

Sameer Kazi, President of ActiveCampaign, commented, “The holiday season is the busiest for many businesses, and an important time to gain long-term customer loyalty. For those who have smaller teams, it can make optimizing their marketing strategies even more critical. We built our 2022 Holiday Toolkit with those businesses in mind to help them understand where to start and how to find success. They can easily navigate the tools and resources within to not only stay afloat but grow and thrive ahead of the new year.”


A survey by Bullhorn identified that temporary and contract workers who have a positive experience interacting with staffing and recruitment firms throughout the entire recruitment process are six times more likely to work with that firm again. The research identifies the top priorities of job seekers that will help recruitment firms to establish a lasting relationship. The top three are:

  • access to desirable jobs (34%)
  • a good reputation (22%)
  • positive past experiences (19%)

Another important factor when job seeking is the ability to work flexibly in any assignment. Crucially 90% also expressed an interest in career development offered by the staffing firm. That career development includes reskilling, upskilling, or certification programs.

The report has interesting lessons for both recruiting firms and recruiters around communication channels and frequency requirements of job seekers.

Andre Mileti, Product Evangelist, Talent Experience, Bullhorn, says, “Offering consumer-grade experiences through the entire talent lifecycle is more important now than ever before in securing positive outcomes for staffing firms. That could mean ensuring your reputation is stellar on Google and other rating sites, delivering intuitive onboarding and employment services, or providing authentic value in the form of timely communication and relevant job opportunities. These simple tactics, if done correctly, will deliver exponential return. It starts and ends with examining the entire talent journey, defining those moments that matter, and ensuring your efforts result in satisfied employees. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when ratings and reviews improve, time-to-fill decreases, and referral and redeployment rates increase.”


Research by HR and payroll software provider CIPHR has revealed some of the most common Google searches around the cost-of-living crisis – highlighting what’s worrying people the most, as living costs soar and real incomes decline. The research also identified the locations that showed the highest changes in searches between August 2022 and August 2021.

  1. Cost of living: Bracknell – 15,900% increase in searches per 10,000 people
  2. Energy bills: Cardiff – 4,700%
  3. Food prices: London – 586%
  4. Inflation: Newport – 1,300%
  5. Interest rates: Cardiff – 2,850%
  6. Mortgage rates: Newport – 2,500%
  7. Petrol prices: Newport – 3,800%
  8. Tax cuts: London – 875%
  9. Pay rise: Glasgow – 400%

Claire Williams, Chief People Officer at Ciphr, said, “It is an incredibly unnerving time for employees and employers across the country. Employees are understandably concerned about the impact of the rising cost of living, and for many that doesn’t only mean a reduction in their disposable income, but an impact on their ability to continue to pay the bills. This can cause a huge amount of stress and anxiety, which can in turn impact employees’ health and performance.

“Employers, on the other hand, have a tricky balancing act to achieve, and I’d be surprised if it isn’t high on most organisations’ people agenda. On one hand, failing to recognise and respond to the impact the increasing cost of living is having on employees – whether it be through increased pay or bonuses, financial wellbeing support, development opportunities, creative benefits, or other means – could result in employers seeing their staff turnover increase as employees seek work elsewhere for more money.

“On the other hand, employers are also in a position where they are seeing their costs increase and possibly a downturn in revenue as customers become more cautious, therefore they will also be considering how best to protect their organisations’ financial health and, importantly, their employees’ jobs.”


Intuit uncovered some positive news for small businesses that seem to echo that of ActiveCampaign. Consumers plan to spend 40% of their total holiday budget at small businesses, representing an $88 billion opportunity. The findings were a small component of the QuickBooks Holiday Shopping Survey, based on a recent survey of 5,500 consumers and 1,500 businesses.

Small business face challenges, though, with 70% predicting inventory or product shortfalls, and 90% experiencing shipping and fulfilment woes. The shift to online continues, with 70% of consumers expecting to spend more online.

Shilpa Reddy, Vice President of QuickBooks Commerce, commented, “To capture consumer spend, small businesses should embrace selling online across multiple sales channels, staying ahead of the game in procuring and effectively managing inventory, and delivering seamless shopping and shipping experiences.”


A survey by Jenzabar shows that college administrators are innovating with technology to counter revenue shortfalls.

The proportion of graduating high school students enrolling in college in the fall has dropped from a high of 70% in 2016 to 63% in 2020. At the same time, college financial aid application renewals were down 12% at the end of March 2022, an event that coincided with a historic level of open jobs. In its new survey, Innovating to Create a More Flexible Path for Higher Education, Jenzabar sought to understand how institutions were responding to these latest trends. The survey found that 53% of institutions polled were partnering with local businesses to provide in-demand skills training or workforce training. This percentage increased amongst schools experiencing enrollment decline (68%).

Ling Chai, Founder, President, and CEO of Jenzabar, commented, “We’re excited to see the ways many schools are innovating to give learners access to flexible education, but we’re also seeing some institutions, such as those not yet feeling the effects of the enrollment decline, make less headway in providing students with affordable and accessible education options.” said “We hope that, as student priorities and expectations continue to shift, colleges and universities will be encouraged to implement programs that allow students to more easily find, learn, and live their true calling. At Jenzabar, we remain committed to this endeavor through the Campus Movement, which aims to drive educational equity for learners around the world.” 


According to a survey of 1,000 Australian SMEs by MYOB, Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are seeking financial assistance to fund immediate needs such as wages or stock. However, they are unaware of some short-term, alternative financing methods available to them.

The survey looks at the financial priorities of SMEs and while 54% have solved short-term cash flow issues by using traditional banking sources, there are other funding sources. 68% of SMEs are unaware of the non-traditional funding sources available, however.

Steve Price, head of go-to-market for financial services at MYOB, commented, “Businesses are currently facing really tough financial pressures due to rising costs across wages, energy and fuel and record high purchase costs. We’re looking at the highest quarterly wage increase in ten years, with our recent research showing over half of Australian SMEs have increased salaries in the past year, while raising employee pay is a priority for 4 in 5 businesses.

“Adding to these pressures is the fact that small businesses often have to navigate late payments from customers which can really impact their cash flow[5]. The upcoming holiday season is renowned for being the time of year SMEs face the slowest payment times on their invoices, so keeping a steady hand on cash flow is key to helping a business survive in this climate,” adds Mr Price.


The NTT 2022 Global Network Report found that 70% of CEOs globally say their level of network maturity is negatively affecting business delivery. Other key findings included:

  • 72% of top-performing businesses already outsource more than half of their network infrastructure
  • The top trends driving the modernization of the enterprise network are: cybersecurity, cloud-native platforms, and the hybrid workplace
  • 94% of business leaders are increasingly looking to partner with a Managed Service Provider or single specialist provider

The biggest concerns around their networks include security, modernisation and access to a full suite of services. The study looks at the emerging technologies and whether organisations have adopted them, or not.

Amit Dhingra, Executive Vice President at NTT Ltd. Network Services, commented, “Levels of investment in the network have surged, with the results of this research showing many organizations are leaning towards key partners and managed service solutions to fulfil their requirements. This is primarily to drive security and gain access to skills that can both optimize capability and accelerate innovation-based advances.

“We are in the midst of a modernization of network services, however, many of the solutions that are currently in play for a minority will become standard within just two years. Instead, organizations should turn their attention to a network as a service model. Businesses should consider security, skills competency, ability to scale, private 5G, and software defined networking when selecting a network service provider. In the long term, blockchain, further AI and automation, AR and VR, quantum networking, 6G and photonic computing will affect how networks are delivered.”


The construction industry is facing a crisis with a skills shortage, stress and burnout impacting safety, mental health and worker retention, according to research from Procore. 52% of construction firms have lost staff because of higher levels of stress and burnout. These are not junior staff, but skilled staff, at a time when retention is only one of the big challenges facing the industry. The key concerns are:

  • Worker Health & Safety (46%)
  • Reducing energy consumption (40%)
  • Diversity & inclusion goals (25%)

Tom Karemacher, Vice President, APAC, Procore, commented, “The construction industry has faced a multitude of challenges in the last couple of years, and nevertheless remains resilient and resourceful. With the labour shortage currently impacting the industry, it’s great to see companies prioritising worker health and safety while utilising technology to support workers by reducing risk and improving safety in the workplace.”


Workers are looking for new jobs, asking for extra shifts, or taking on side hustles to make ends meet as everyday expenses eat up a bigger chunk of their paychecks. A new Qualtrics study finds that 64% of workers say it’s harder to pay for their living expenses than it was a year ago. Almost one in five (18%) of working adults have cut their expenses by moving to an area with a lower cost of living, and another 13% are planning to do so.

In efforts to increase their take-home pay, 57% of employees want the opportunity to work overtime or extra shifts. Outside of their current job, 37% have looked for jobs with higher salaries, and 38% of workers have looked for a second job. An additional 14% of people plan to look for a second job, meaning more than half of working Americans have considered holding multiple jobs to pay for their living expenses.

Dr. Benjamin Granger, Qualtrics Chief Workplace Psychologist, said, “With budgets tightening, workers are searching for ways to meet the rising cost of living, including finding new jobs. Employee turnover is a huge cost for companies, so it’s business critical for organizations to understand which of their employees are likely to leave and why, so they can make adjustments to reduce attrition and retain key performers.”

The study of 1,000 US adults provides an interesting snapshot of how people are coping with the cost of living crisis.

SD Worx

Research by SD Worx found that only 61% of UK companies are using HR and people analytics to gain insights into areas such as staff shortages, absenteeism or employee turnover. Across Europe as a whole, HR and people analytics are experiencing a sharp incline in popularity. Austria (66%), Sweden (66%) and Germany (65%) currently lead the way in their analysis of data to tackle business priorities and make data-led people decisions. However, 21% intend to invest in people analytics and the skill shortage continues to bite many.

Colette Philp, UK HR Country Lead at SD Worx, comments, “Globally, we’re seeing enormous momentum behind HR and analytics tools, bringing tangible improvements to the ways companies support their workforce and understand what’s happening within their organisations. It’s well established that analytics bring hard facts and robust advice to business strategy, yet many are still missing out on their value. In the UK, the fact that 4 in 10 aren’t using people and HR analytics indicates that they’re missing out on actionable insights, especially amid a time of huge transition as businesses grapple to improve productivity and support employees in a hybrid world.

“However, despite a need for more proactive uptake, the research brings much room for optimism as it confirms an openness to realising the full potential of HR and people analytics across organisations. With companies wishing to reap the benefits – from improved decision-making, to efficiencies across HR processes – there is a rising imperative to roll out new capabilities that respond to business goals and deliver impact amid the challenges. However, companies are all too aware that success doesn’t just happen overnight and the ladder to long term impact is a steep one. Getting a foot on that ladder by assessing goals and key priorities should be the first step towards harnessing the value of these now indispensable tools.”


Data from Tradeshift, the global network for digital trade, reveals that trade activity across retail, manufacturing and transport & logistics dropped sharply in Q3, as the volume of transactions between buyers and suppliers globally slowed for the third consecutive quarter.

According to Tradeshift’s Index of Global Trade Health, global supply chain activity fell by a further 5 points in Q3 compared to the baseline. New orders, in particular, are drying up at an accelerated rate as inflation-driven costs and global uncertainty mount. Global order volumes dropped a further 7 points below expected levels in Q3 following a 6-point drop in the previous quarter, the most significant six-month fall since the height of the pandemic.

Manufacturing dropped 11 points below the expected range in Q3. Retail supply chain activity was 9 points below the baseline, the slowest growth in 18 months. Waning demand in these sectors is also leading to lower demand in the transport and logistics sector. Activity across the sector was 8 points lower than expected in Q3, the second consecutive quarter of declining growth.

Christian Lanng, CEO of Tradeshift, commented, “The good news is that supply chain bottlenecks are easing, and shipping costs are falling. The bad news is that this is largely a result of waning demand, and that trend now appears to be accelerating. This is particularly hard for smaller suppliers who have simply swapped pressure in one direction for an equally treacherous kind of pressure in the other direction. If suppliers get into financial difficulty and start to fold, we could start to see a repeat of the problems supply chains faced during the pandemic.”


The third annual UKG retail holiday season survey and trend report found that many U.S.-based retail stores are struggling to meet sales goals because they’re short-staffed (80%, up from 68% in 2021). 95% of retailers predict weekly understaffing in stores during the holiday season. Customers will likely feel the impact of these labour challenges when shopping for the holidays (72%).

The report looks at who is leaving retail, which includes managers as well as staff and why they are leaving. Reasons include the inflexibility of working hours and stressors such as theft and violence.

Rob Klitsch, Director of the Retail, Hospitality, and Food Service Practice at UKG, commented, “Understanding why people are gravitating away from retail work or leaving their employer in search of a better alternative is the first step toward fixing the workplace experience and developing a safe and comfortable environment for employees to work and customers to shop. Employee experience determines customer experience, so to improve the latter, retailers must address their people’s needs first.”

The report and Klitsch add some advice for retailers. He added, “Bringing exceptional experiences to life for managers, employees, and customers simultaneously is vital year-round. The key is to listen, adopt, and adapt quickly, because the future of work is now.”


Unanet and CohnReznick LLP have released their annual GAUGE Report. It highlights the top business challenges and strategies for GovCons. This year, workplace and workforce issues headline the report. The pandemic has forced leaders to reshape their workforce to meet growing market demands.

Rich Wilkinson, Senior Director of GovCon Industry Marketing for Unanet, commented, “Allocations for federally funded work are at an all-time high, meaning GovCons have reason to be upbeat about their own economic stability, but resources to service government contracts are more scarce and that conundrum has leapt to the top of the list of what keeps business leaders up at night. This offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine the government contracting industry workplace and workforce. Everything from who, how, when, and where is on the table for change in a way like never before.”


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