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Talent recruitment emerges as major business risk 

Cyber attacks/data breach leads the top-ten list of risks most feared by C-suite leaders and senior management, followed by business interruption and economic slowdown/slow recovery, according to a biennial survey by Aon. 

The top two placings are similar to the previous Global Risk Management Survey in 2021, the broker says. 

Failure to attract or retain top talent moved up nine spots to place fourth, the first time that human capital has made it to the top ten. 

Regulatory/legislative changes ranked fifth, followed by supply chain or distribution failure, commodity price risk/scarcity of materials and damage to reputation/brand. 

Failure to innovate/meet customer needs and increasing competition occupied ninth and tenth spots to round out the list. 

Aon says the 2023 findings, based on responses from 2842 decision makers, reflect the immediate pressing challenges in the business environment. 

“As conflicts, geopolitical change, and macroeconomic conditions continue to have broad-reaching impacts, business leaders also ranked the risk of supply chain and distribution failure at its highest level in 14 years,” the broker said. 

“According to the latest survey, less than 40% of organisations have conducted supplier resiliency assessments and less than 20% have diversified their supplier base to mitigate supply chain or distribution failure risk. 

“Insufficient mitigation efforts, therefore, appear to be correlated closely with a rise in perceptions of supply chain/distribution risk exposure.” 

On human capital, Aon says businesses no longer view talent recruitment as a “people problem”. 

“Companies excel when they have the best possible talent in each role, from the C-suite to the front line,” the broker said. 

“An inability to fill these slots and retain top-performing employees can have serious repercussions. Today’s rising stars in an organisation can become tomorrow’s competitors.” 

The pandemic has also transformed the notion of the workplace. 

“Many employees were able to work from home, and many have expressed a preference for the added convenience and flexibility,” Aon said. 

“The focus on what employees want out of work has also elevated the focus on workplace wellbeing.”