Adecco C Suite Survey Full Findings

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SURVEY BACKGROUND

 

Methodology & Background

Background

  • Adecco polled 501 c-suite level executives of small, medium, and large businesses (based on income) about their business growth and opinions related to the upcoming presidential election.

Methodology

  • Telephone survey of 501 c-suite level executives (identified as CEO, CFO, COO, Partner, President, CMO, CXO, Owner, Managing Director, SVP/EVP)
  • Fielded by Braun Research
  • Conducted October 2 – 8, 2012
  • Differences between various demographics groups were also explored:
  • Small versus medium/large businesses
  • Survey results have a margin of error +/- 4.37% for this sample size.

Key Findings Business Challenges and Growth

Rising healthcare costs continue to be the biggest concern among executives

  • By far, executives say their greatest current business challenge is providing healthcare benefits (55 percent) to employees, followed by salaries/compensation (41 percent).
  • Only 4 percent say their companies are not currently facing any challenges.
  • In fact, more than one in three (35 percent) executives is holding back on hiring additional employees because of the healthcare reform act.
  • Looking back, healthcare has remained a sore spot for many businesses. Over the past four years, the challenge of providing healthcare benefits has risen 57 percent, while the likelihood of facing no challenges has dropped by 65 percent.
  • Similar to the current environment, executives say that prior to the recession, their top business challenges were also providing healthcare benefits (35 percent) and salaries/compensation (33 percent).
  • One in ten (10 percent) executives report having faced no challenges prior to the recession.

2012 proved to be an uncertain year for business growth

  • While more than one in three (35 percent) executives report that their business’ profits have increased over the last year, nearly half (45 percent) report that profits have decreased.
  • Over the past four years, government regulations/legislation (60 percent) and consumer confidence (56 percent) have had the most negative impact on businesses.

Executives are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead

  • Almost half (47 percent) of executives believe that their business’ profits will increase over the next year, while only one in five (18 percent) believe it will decrease.
  • Small business executives are more likely (48 percent) than medium or large business executives (41 percent) to say their profits will increase over the next year.

Key Findings Election Impact and Potential Change

Executives say President Obama is not helping the growth and success of businesses

  • More than three in five (62 percent) executives believe President Obama is not doing all he can to help businesses grow and succeed in the current economy.
  • Small business executives are more likely (14 percent) than medium or large business executives (6 percent) to say that neither presidential candidate will be good for the growth and success of their business.
  • More than half (54 percent) of executives believe Mitt Romney is the best candidate for the growth and success of their business.

Advice to the next President make it easier for businesses to grow

  • In an effort to help create jobs, executives feel that the newly elected U.S. president should give incentives to businesses to hire more (49 percent), invest in infrastructure improvements (44 percent), and reform bureaucratic practices for business in the U.S. (43 percent).
  • Only 1 percent of executives believe the U.S. government should do nothing, as it is doing exactly what it should be to help create jobs.
  • If executives could give the next president one piece of advice, they would say that he should reduce government/regulations (18 percent), create more jobs/support small businesses (13 percent), or be bi-partisan/work together (11 percent).

Outcome of upcoming election is cause for concern among senior executives , especially those with ailing profits

  • Three quarters (74 percent) of executives say the outcome of the upcoming election is important to their business. Most are concerned about the effect that economic growth (71 percent), healthcare reform (65 percent), and national debt/managing the deficit (53 percent) will have on their businesses.
  • Executives whose profits have decreased over the past year are more likely to let the uncertainty of the upcoming election hold them back from investing in their company (34 percent) than those whose profits increased (9 percent).

Key Findings Business as Usual

But despite these concerns, its business as usual for most companies

  • While more than a third (35 percent) of executives say the uncertainty around the upcoming presidential election is holding them back from investing in their companies, 62 percent say it is not holding them back.
  • Executives who are holding back from investing in their companies due to uncertainty around the election are more likely (78 percent) than those who are not holding back (26 percent) to say that the outcome of the election is very important for their business.
  • Executives who are holding back from investing in their companies are more likely than others to put the following on hold: hiring additional staff (77 percent), investing in infrastructure (53 percent), and upgrading technology (52 percent).

MAIN FINDINGS

BUSINESS CHALLENGES AND GROWTH: 2012 was an uncertain year for business growth, but executives are optimistic about the year ahead

MAIN FINDINGS

ELECTION IMPACT & POTENTIAL CHANGE: Executives say Obama is not helping businesses, but they anticipate change with the upcoming election

MAIN FINDINGS

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Despite these concerns, it's business as usual for most businesses

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