Human resources and innovation seen as big business risks this year

A recent survey suggests that human resources challenges and the failure to innovate are some of the biggest risks faced by Australasian businesses this year.

Aon recently released the results from the 2014 edition of its annual Australasian Risk Survey, which ranks the top 10 risks for organisations in the region. Insight is garnered from almost 400 businesses across a range of sectors, including almost a quarter of the companies in the ASX top 100.

In this year's survey, risks relating to human resources came in at seventh place, once again highlighting the importance of best practices in selection and development. According to Aon, one of the key drivers for human resources risks is the “ability to retain and attract top talent”.

Other areas of human resources, such as talent and rewards programs, skill shortages, absenteeism and engagement, were highlighted by Aon as in need of attention from management for the year ahead.

Further down the list, the failure to innovate was identified as the ninth biggest business risk for Australasian organisations this year. This could further shift the recruitment focus to those with traits such as creativity and analytical thinking.

Aon suggests that this is true even for industries such as insurance, where innovation may not come to mind as a primary concern. According to the survey, well over half (38 per cent) believe this sector isn't “doing all it can to help their organisation manage its increasingly complex risk exposures”.

“Many respondents also feel that given the strong current competitive environment amongst insurers, innovation should be top of the agenda for players trying to differentiate themselves and retain their most profitable business,” the survey report reads.

Innovation is one of the most crucial ongoing commitments for organisations in any industry, and much of it is driven by having the right talent on board. Including personality assessments in your hiring efforts could help you identify those with the innovative skills to drive your business's growth.