Irish business leaders more upbeat about prospects for economy
Survey suggests nine out of 10 are more optimistic than a year ago
A survey of almost 500 senior executives found three-quarters of respondents believed career opportunities generally had improved over the past year, with fewer than one in ten 10 reporting a deterioration.
Senior Irish business executives are becoming markedly more optimistic about the prospects for the economy next year, with up to half of them preparing to hire more staff in coming months, according to a new study.
A survey of almost 500 senior executives this month by Merc Partners, a firm of headhunters, and Amárach Research has found that nine out of 10 of its respondents are more positive about the economy entering 2014 than they were at this time last year.
About 66 per cent said they were “slightly” more positive, while almost a quarter said they were “much more positive” about Ireland’s economic prospects. The combined 90 per cent “positive” result compares to a corresponding figure of just 58 per cent when the survey was last conducted 12 months ago.
About 47 per cent of those surveyed said they believed their companies would hire more staff in 2014, while less than a fifth believed they would shed staff over the year. Almost half said that staff morale had improved over the course of the year, compared to 27 per cent who felt that morale had dipped.
Three-quarters of respondents said they believed that career opportunities generally had improved over the past year, with fewer than one in 10 detecting a deterioration.
Despite the economic optimism, many senior executives believe emigration will continue to damage the hiring pool available to Irish companies.
Ruth Curran, a partner with Merc, said: “Over half (51 per cent) said [emigration] has impacted negatively [on their companies], with one in eight saying that the impact had been significant.”About 40 per cent of those surveyed said they have had to look abroad for key staff, particularly in IT.