Fortunately, CEOs around the world do not share the waffling confidence among consumers in the United States. Of the 1,100 executives from 52 countries polled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for its 13th annual "Global CEO Survey," almost 40 percent expect to add people in 2010. Only 25 percent expect further reductions in force.
In Brazil, a full 60 percent plan to increase their head counts, while in the Asia Pacific region and in Canada, about half of CEOs anticipate doing so. Only 39 percent of U.S. CEOs expect to add staff; most (almost two-thirds) will increase modestly (5 percent or less).
The most encouraging statistic is that worldwide, 81 percent of CEOs are confident of their 2010 prospects (up from 64 percent) and only 18 percent remain pessimistic (down from 35 percent). Moreover, 31 percent of responding CEOs reported feeling “very confident” of their short-term prospects — an increase of 10 percentage points from 2009.
Executives in developing nations were more upbeat than their counterparts from developed nations. While 80 percent of North American and Western European respondents were optimistic about growth in 2010, 91 percent of CEOs in Latin America and China/Hong Kong and 97 percent in India said the same.
However, looking ahead to the next three years, the results were even more impressive: more than 90 percent of CEOs polled were confident of growth — a large number of executives thinking positively.
In spite of all of this optimism, many respondents are still fearful of a protracted global recession (65 percent) and over-regulation (60 percent). In fact, more than two-thirds of CEOs disagreed with the notion that governments have reduced the overall regulatory burden, while 65 percent agreed that regulatory co-operation will help mitigate systemic risks successfully.
ExecuNet’s latest Recruiter Confidence Index data reinforces the PwC study: executive recruiter confidence is at an 18-month high and more companies are adding new executive jobs. Sixty-four percent are "confident" or "very confident" the executive employment market will improve during the next six months.
Perception is everything! Confidence is up and we will see more hiring worldwide. The United States will likely not lead this recovery.