Confidence continues to slip, yet focus on hiring remains healthy
Confidence in the U.S. economy, as expressed by CEOs and owners of small businesses, continued to decline since the start of 2015, falling to its lowest level in nearly two years. According to the October 2015 WSJ/Vistage Small Business Survey, the monthly Confidence Index was 101.9 in October, down from 103.7 in September, and from the peak of 115.5 at the start of 2015. University of Michigan’s Dr. Richard Curtin, who analyzes the monthly survey results noted, “While it may seem clear that a peak was recorded at the start of 2015, the key question is whether it will also constitute a cyclical peak. Even given the atypical nature of the expansion, the data only indicate a slower, but still positive, rate of economic growth.”
Despite this lack of confidence in the overall U.S. economy, CEOs and small business owners remain buoyant about the prospects for their own businesses, as 72% stated that they expected sales/revenues to rise over the next twelve months and 57% said profits will increase as well. While some small firms may have begun to limit capital investments and hiring, the percentage of respondents who said they plan to add new employees over the next year remains high at 55%. Turns out that because it will take hiring and retaining excellent people to achieve these projected increases sales and profits, the focus on talent remains strong and should serve as good news for the job market.
During a recent trip to the U.K., I found the continued attention to hiring to be particularly true in speaking with Vistage members there. They told me that while finding and hiring qualified people is a challenge, they’ve remained nimble both in their attitude, and in their ability and willingness to try innovative approaches to attract talent to their companies. In this month’s Pulse of Small Business video, listen to our U.K. members as they convey their expectations about the future of the economy and share their thoughts on the challenge of hiring top talent. In the meantime, feel free to share your best hiring practices with us here on Executive Street!