Research reveals the areas that FTSE 100 firms are struggling with at board level including succession planning and skills gaps.

Research by New Street Consulting Group (NSCG) reveals that the majority of companies within the FTSE 100 face problems linked to succession planning and gaps in skills.

Over two-thirds (68 per cent) of FTSE 100 companies admitted to struggling to find future talent as they faced succession planning problems.

Additionally, almost a third of firms (29 per cent) stated that they had a skills gap on their board. Of this, 13 per cent admitted that this skills gap was within technology. This comes days after Microsoft research revealed that seven in 10 companies currently have a skills gap within their organisation.

Around seven per cent of companies within the FTSE 100 stated that their skills gap was in the sector of environment, social and governance (ESG).

Colin Mercer, director at NSCG, stated the necessity of succession planning and how HR can take charge in this process:

In today’s competitive environment a business can’t afford to be rudderless. Strategic or operational drift caused by a lengthy interregnum between senior appointments can be damaging.

Having succession plans and programmes designed to develop the leadership skills of employees are the hallmarks of strong businesses. We find that businesses where HR has a voice at the top table are more likely to have more advanced succession plans.

However, it seems that many organisations have taken this on board since the start of the pandemic.

In April 2020, statistics from NSCG showed that there were 232 changes at board level which was an increase in the monthly average of 206 over the last two years.

Agata Nowakowska, Area Vice President at Skillsoft, addressed ways in which the skills gap can be improved:

The skills gap has been growing exponentially for some years and this research shows that Britain’s biggest employers are failing to invest time and attention in their talent pipelines, and face significant skills gaps at board levels.

As the war for talent intensifies due to the post-pandemic circumstances, employee development and talent pooling will become increasingly vital to building a modern workforce that’s adaptable and flexible.

Addressing and easing workplace role transitions will require new training models and approaches that include on-the-job training and opportunities that support and signpost workers to opportunities to upgrade their skills. Similarly, investing in digital talent platforms that foster fluidity, by matching workers and their skills with new work opportunities within the enterprise will be key.