It isn't business strategy or management that is the number one problem for many UK companies, but the battle for skills and talent.
A study by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation has found that recruiting the right people is the biggest issue for more than half of all UK firms, leading employers of all sizes and across all sectors to reconsider how they manage recruitment and staffing.
"Most employers realize that modern recruitment is going beyond the remit of a traditional HR function," said KPMG's Rav Bains.
"What we are seeing is that many HR departments now view their role separated into two functions - one revolves around typical HR issues such as managing staff and staff relations and the other one recruitment, finding the right people in the first place. This is driving a marked change in the HR services market."
The search for staff increasingly impacts costs and productivity of companies he added. Many employers are therefore exploring alternative approaches to recruitment, ranging from the greater use of web-based solutions to managed services or recruitment process outsourcing.
Among large employers direct online recruitment seems to have the biggest impact. A number of major companies have launched recruitment web sites in the last years, with the result that organisations such as Unilever, the BBC and the Royal Mail have reduced their use of recruitment agencies by up to 80%.
However, direct internet recruitment only makes sense if the organisation has a strong corporate presence or a brand powerful enough to attract a large number of candidates.
Most employers do not fall into this category – which is why eight out of 10 of the employers surveyed still use a combination of in-house recruitment and agencies to find staff.
Yet more than a decade after internet recruitment first started to take hold, it seems staggering that many employers still lack a coherent career section on their corporate web site. Indeed, the report suggests that it will be another two years before most employers have moved their recruiting efforts online
"Online recruitment has traditionally been a preserve of larger organisations, but many smaller companies already have a career website and they will professionalize these sites," Rav Baines said.
"The internet will become an important recruitment tool for all employers regardless of their size."