Companies Plan to Increase Staff in 2015
23 January 2015 at 10:36 am
More than half of Australian CEOs expect to boost their staff numbers in the next 12 months, according to the results of a new survey.
Forty-six Australian company CEOs were involved in PwC’s 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, including Qantas boss Alan Joyce, BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie, and Woolworths head Grant O’Brien.
Only 12 per cent of the participants said they plan to reduce the size of their workforce, compared to 21 per cent of their global peers.
PwC Australia CEO Luke Sayers said the report found that Australian companies are also well ahead of their international counterparts when it comes to promoting diversity, with 86 per cent saying they have a diversity and inclusiveness strategy, compared to 64 per cent globally.
“When talking to clients the mood seems to be one of cautious optimism, and it’s pleasing to see that being borne out in areas like hiring intentions,” Sayers said.
“The philosophical argument about the benefits of a more diverse workforce has been won. What we now need is both genuine improvement in areas like gender, and also a more sophisticated understanding of diversity, one that extends to diversity of cultural experience and skills.”
According to the survey, Australian CEOs are looking at joint-ventures, partnerships, and technology as both sources of growth and competitive threats.
Digital innovation and its impact on customer behaviour is of particular concern with nine out of 10 CEOs in Australia saying it is the number one disruptive trend they face.
“Many companies today are becoming more and more like tech businesses, particularly when you consider how they interact with their customers and deliver goods and services,” Sayers said.
“Australian CEOs have switched onto the fact that they don’t need a digital strategy, they need a business strategy that’s fit for the digital age.
“The next five years will be critical if Australia is to keep its privileged place amongst the world’s advanced economies. Beyond that timeframe it will get increasingly difficult for Australia to fully participate in, and withstand shocks from, the global economy.
“We need to see significant movement on the development of social and economic infrastructure to support both our ageing population and participation in the global digital economy. Fundamental reforms, including tax reform, must be addressed.”
Sayers said the mixed results reflect an uncertain political and legislative environment in both Australia and abroad.
“Both the Government and business community understand what’s required in order to secure Australia’s long term economic future, but unfortunately the current political environment in Canberra isn’t conducive to delivering outcomes,” he said.
“Part of that problem is clearly a difficult senate, but the broader and more important issue is a failure, by both business and government, to properly communicate the rationale for change to the broader community.”