Employment rise for SMEs

Britain’s medium-sized businesses are gearing up for a great 2014 and are starting to recruit strongly thanks to at least four months of strong optimism about the economy reveals the new Vistage Medium-Sized Business Confidence Index (published Monday 20 January 2014).

2014 upwards graphThe research is based on responses by 413 CEOs, MDs and owners of largely medium-sized and larger-small businesses conducted in December 2013 by Vistage ( the world’s leading CEO organisation (see notes below for full details on Vistage,  the research methodology and detailed findings). 

Key findings from the latest Vistage Mid-Market Confidence Index include:

  • About 72% medium-sized businesses aim to expand their workforce in 2014 (28% have no plans).
  • 28% of those polled intend to recruit steadily throughout 2014 while, since September, the number of medium-sized businesses imminently expanding their workforce has increased by 50% (21% plan to recruit in Q1 2014, compared to only 14% of those polled in September who were planning to expand their workforce in the next quarter, Q4 2013).
  • Owners of British mittelstand businesses continue to be strongly optimistic about the forthcoming year (73% expect the economy to improve, whereas only 2% expect it will get worse – a slight improvement on the high levels of confidence that appeared in its September research).
  • They also felt that 2013 was on the whole a much better year for the UK economy, with 76% reporting improved economic conditions compared with a year ago (compared with only 20% feeling this way when polled at the start of 2013).
  • The expansion of the workforce at most medium-sized businesses is being driven by strong expectations that the better economic times will translate into sales – with 80% expecting an increase in sales revenue over 2014 (15% expect sales to remain about the same, 3% expect them to fall).

Steve Gilroy, CEO of Vistage, said:  ‘Germany’s medium-sized businesses are rightly feted as the reason for its economic success.  By contrast, Britain’s mittelstand companies are the UK economy’s unsung heroes, despite their huge importance to a sustained recovery and sustained job-creation.

‘Many have emerged from the economic malaise of recent years in good health and cash-rich.  Our research shows they are expecting a good 2014 and most have active plans to expand their workforces to take advantage of this – in fact many are doing this already.’

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