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Thursday, September 07, 2006

CEO Confidence Sinks

With small and mid-sized businesses in the U.S. create 75 percent of all new jobs and generate 50 percent of national revenue, it is concerning that CEOs of small and mid-sized businesses said their confidence in the economy and prospects for the coming year are at their lowest levels since 2003, according research findings from the Vistage Confidence Index, a quarterly measure of economic, market and industry trends.

(Vistage polled 1,939 CEOs of small- to mid-sized companies between May 15-24, with a margin of error of 1.9 percentage points.)

Key findings:

  • The data clearly indicates a much more cautious outlook among CEOs.
  • CEOs are already beginning to modestly scale back their plans for future growth of their business, as they expect to reduce the pace of investment spending and add slightly fewer new employees during the year ahead.

The top concern?

  • Finding qualified employees was reported by one-third of all CEOs as their top concern.
  • Hiring and retaining qualified employees was mentioned more than twice as frequently as other problems.

BOTTOMLINE: Finding and keeping the right people continues to be one of the toughest challenges. Use an integrated approach of finding (selecting, screening, interviewing, using behavioral assessments, hiring) and keeping (mentoring, setting expectations, individual plans, performance appraisals, individual development, rewards.)

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