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Reduce administrative tasks
The number one current challenge for business leaders? Attracting quality management and dedicated capable staff. That’s what we learned from a survey* of 300 leaders when we asked them about their top priorities outside of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attracting talent has been the number one challenge reported in our surveys for the past three years, with 70 percent citing this as the top challenge in the 2020 survey. Business leaders who anticipate fast growth in the year ahead reported this issue as three times more of a “serious problem” than those expecting slow growth (21 percent versus 7 percent). 

Top Three challenges

2020 2019 2018  
70% 77% 71% Attracting strong, competent management and dedicated, capable staff
68% 66% 72% Offering competitive compensation and benefits
65% 66% 69%

Creating operational efficiencies with overall HR administration (e.g. expense management, labor costs, new hire paperwork, paid time-off tracking, payroll and benefits administration, etc.)

Be intentional about attracting and retaining working parents

The pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic and new work environments may cause some parents to leave the workforce. According to a recent study1, women are 1.3 times more likely than men to con-sider leaving the workforce, particularly mothers, senior women, and African American women. The study predicts that if women continue to leave the workforce at these rates, corporate America could lose more than 2 million women in the workforce — more than the number of women who graduate from college or graduate programs each year — and more than 100,000 women in senior leadership roles in the short term. 

According to the survey cited above, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many working mothers to absorb a disproportionate amount of childcare and homeschooling responsibilities. Mothers of children under the age of 10 who are in dual-career couples are twice as likely as men in the same situation to spend more than five additional hours a day on household responsibilities than be-fore the COVID-19 pandemic, the same study reported. One in four senior women has considered stepping out or slowing down in their careers. 

To attract and retain working parents, employers need to be intentional about their approach to this demographic and the realities of their work and family responsibilities. Learn more about how Oasis may be able to help you to find the right employees faster.   

Among other top challenges identified by the survey:

  • HR administration takes up a lot of time
    Managing HR administrative duties, such as processing payroll, managing employee benefits, and implementing safety programs, takes up a lot of time. Sixty-seven percent of business leaders reported spending up to 10 hours a week on HR duties, with 24 percent spending 11 to 20 hours a week. The time spent on HR tasks in 2020 was slightly less than what was reported in prior years.
  • Managing employees is challenging
    Nearly one-in-two (49 percent) of the survey participants reported that “managing employees is more difficult as a result of COVID-19.” Over the past three years of surveys, business leaders have said their number one challenge in managing people is that “employees have person-al issues that sometimes conflict with work.” Business leaders reported this to be their main concern with forty-four percent of younger workers (aged 18 to 39) compared to 31 percent of workers aged 40 to 55 and 34 percent of workers aged 56 years or more.
  • The pandemic has accelerated tech use
    Forty-five percent of business leaders reported that “COVID-19 has forced us to adopt technology faster than we would have otherwise.” Thirty-six percent said that “enhancing our technology” has become a higher priority as a result of the impact of the pandemic.” Yet, one-third (34 percent) said they “try to utilize it but know there are some gaps in knowledge as to how it can be used most effectively.” This response was consistent with prior surveys over the past three years. Almost half of very small businesses (48 percent), more than half of small businesses (55 per-cent), and more than two in three medium-sized businesses (70 percent) consider themselves tech-forward. That is, they “utilize it as much as possible to improve productivity and efficiency. The survey respondents reported using an average of two to three different systems to man-age HR administration. Younger companies, in operation for fewer than 10 years, reported using a mean of four systems compared to two systems used by companies that had been operating for 10 or more years. Business leaders anticipating rapid growth in the year ahead used an average of five systems to manage HR administration tasks and duties. As Gianclaudio P., an Oasis client from the Insurance Industry said, “The thorough service model through and after implementation, and the advanced technology offered, are also leading elements compared to all other PEOs I work with. Oasis is my top recommendation to clients and prospects!”
  • HR outsourcing on the rise
    Nearly one-third (29 percent) of the survey participants said, “we are more likely to outsource HR functions as a result of COVID-19,” and a further 42 percent said they are “very or some-what likely” to outsource HR administration in the next 12 months — nearly twice as many as those who responded in 2019 and more than twice as many as those who responded in 2018. Sixty-nine percent of business leaders anticipating fast growth in the year ahead said they plan to outsource, compared to 41 percent of those expecting slow growth. The main reason to outsource HR administration was, “we now see the value in outsourcing” (35 percent). The most in-demand tasks to outsource this year included payroll, 401(k) and benefits administration.

Oasis can help business leaders to better manage employee performance and ensure that employees know what is expected of them. Is it time to outsource your HR administration tasks, such as payroll, benefits, and risk management, to a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) like Oasis? Access the complete findings on our study, “2021 Priorities for Business Leaders.” View more resources to sup-port your business through the pandemic by visiting our COVID-19 Resource Center.

* This national survey was conducted with 300 business leaders and managers from a broad cross-section of industries who employed between five and 99 employees. From December 2 to 8, 2020, the online interviews were conducted by Bredin, an independent market research company located in Boston, MA. The 2019 and 2018 surveys were completed during similar periods and were conducted online using a National Web Panel by SSRS, an independent market research company located in Glen Mills, PA.   1 “How are working women doing during COVID-19? Our Women in the Workplace study explores”, September 2020, McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org, Copyright (c) 2020 McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org. All rights re-served. Reprinted by permission.

* This content is for educational purposes only, is not intended to provide specific legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the legal advice of a qualified attorney or other professional. The information may not reflect the most current legal developments, may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date.

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