When hunting for positive signs that the global economic situation may be improving, taking a glance at the recruitment intentions of some of the world’s best entrepreneurs probably wouldn’t be at the forefront of most people’s minds. That said, we guess it could serve as inspiration for some of our budding start-ups, especially if the stats are encouraging. To that end, there is some optimism to be had from professional service giant Ernst & Young’s Global job creation survey. Released to coincide with the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (WEOY) in Monaco – where else? – the survey of 200 former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) winners found 78% saying they intend to increase their workforce at home or abroad in 2013.
Perhaps the most interesting figures arise when breaking this all down by gender, as many of these surveys tend to do nowadays. Needless to say, the survey reveals that women entrepreneurs intend to hire more at home than their male counterparts, with 73% planning to increase their workforce in their domestic markets this year, compared to 69% of the men. Both men and women said the most important factor impacting their 2013 hiring plans is growth in their products and services – 78% of the total. However, women entrepreneurs expressed more confidence in the economic direction of the countries in which they are headquartered – 88% feel positive compared to 71% of the men. Overall though, it is hard to sniff at the fact that the 49 EOY winners who appeared at yesterday’s WEOY have doubled their revenues to $40bn in the last three years, and expanded their headcount by 40% to over 200,000. Recession, what recession?
Delving further into the survey results, we find that experience still reigns supreme for our entrepreneurs when it comes to recruitment, with 51% saying they created roles for “experienced (non-management) personnel”, while only 14% said they will recruit at “entry level with a degree” and 26% at “entry level with no degree.” Nevertheless, some change is to found in the motivation behind the entrepreneurs’ recruitment drive, as there is a palpable focus on productivity and a shift away from desires to break into new markets. Although 63% of respondents did say they are still hiring for the latter purpose, this is down from 74% in 2012. Meanwhile, the percentage that said they are recruiting specifically to boost production has increased significantly from 28% in 2012 to 45% this year.
Bringing gender into play again, when women entrepreneurs were asked what the two most important reasons for hiring outside their home country were, 50% said boosting the production of goods and services (compared to 44% of male entrepreneurs), followed closely by entering new markets (40% compared to 68% to male entrepreneurs) and tapping new resource talent (40% compared to 20% to male entrepreneurs). And make what you will of this final stat, but no female entrepreneur said they would hire from abroad to take advantage of lower labour costs or be nearer to their suppliers, whereas 13% of men admitted to doing just that.
We’ll end with some reflections from Maria Pinelli, global vice chair of strategic growth markets at Ernst & Young. She said: “Entrepreneurs have gone beyond entering new market and they are now consolidating their activities. It shows the world – and inspires us all – as to what can happen when you give good ideas, and the space to grow them, a chance. A global, inter-connected world provides increased opportunities for entrepreneurs and this means the world’s women as well.”
Feeling positive? We’re sure we’ll get there eventually…