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CEOs list Talent as #1 Concern for 2018

Hiring in 2018? You are not alone!

Vistage Reports that CEO optimism has reached historic levels, and the percentage of CEOs (72%) planning to expand their workforce in the coming year is the highest in the 12-year history of the survey.

The December 2017 Vistage Confidence Index survey captured input from 1,377 SMB CEOs on their projections for 2018. Based on an analysis of the survey data, Vistage has identified the critical decisions that SMB CEOs face to grow their businesses. Talent, growth, and hiring are among the top decisions for 2018.

Most CEOs plan to hire more employees in 2018 and expect fierce competition for top talent. To better understand the talent decisions that CEOs expect to make in 2018, Vistage analyzed participants’ survey responses and five subcategories of talent decisions emerged:

  1. Hiring, recruitment, and sourcing
  2. Retention and engagement
  3. Employee development and training
  4. Performance management, human resources, and compensation
  5. Succession planning
  6. About 25% of those hiring in 2018 will focus on this in the first quarter, while 53% percent will hire throughout the rest of the year.

Competition for qualified employees grows fierce

As detailed in the Vistage eBrief, SMB CEO Projections for 2018, a tight labor market, coupled with expectations for increased hiring, means that recruiting and retaining top talent will be increasingly difficult in 2018.

“While adding headcount is essential to growth, retaining, developing and engaging existing talent is critical,” says Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer for Vistage Research. “It forms a foundation for adding new people. Just as you are looking for the best talent, so is everyone else — and they are looking at your people, too.”

These findings from Vistage are echoed by the National Center for the Middle Market, which just released its Middle Market Indicator Data from the fourth quarter of 2017. Middle market companies report accelerated revenue growth, moderate employment growth and peak levels of confidence. Tom Stewart, the Center’s Executive Director, states that finding, developing, and keeping talent has become the middle market’s biggest challenge.

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