New AchieveNEXT Sentiment Study Reveals Extraordinary Economic Recovery: Growth Is Back and So Are Profits!
PHILADELPHIA, July 21, 2021 - AchieveNEXT, the leading provider of Peer Advisory Networks and Talent Development and Performance Solutions for mid-market leaders, their teams, and enterprises, has released its 2021 Mid-Year Update to CFO-CHRO Sentiment Report. The report highlights a significant uptick in economic confidence compared to January 2021 and even more so when juxtaposed against the same period in 2020.
This benchmarking report was produced using data from a survey of mid-market CFOs and CHROs based in the United States, and outlines the current and projected financial outlook for mid-market companies in the second half of 2021 with a particular emphasis on the intersection of four key areas: people, business strategy, technology, and risk.
AchieveNEXT's Chief Knowledge Officer Thomas A. Stewart and CEO Nick Araco drafted the report after comparing mid-year data with data from AchieveNEXT's Annual Sentiment Study released in January 2021. Their analysis details the excitement finance and HR leaders are feeling as the drop in COVID-19 restrictions and increase in vaccinations accelerate business and economic recovery in the United States:
- Confidence in national and regional economies has surged — and CFOs and CHROs are even more confident in their industries, their markets and their own enterprises. 52% of participants said the economy was weak at the beginning of 2021; now 64% say the economy is strong.
- Growth is back, and so are profits. 43% of participants expect to end the year with EBITDA up more than 10% from last year.
- The war for talent is raging. 38% say they expect their workforce to have increased by more than 10% by the end of 2021, and another 34% forecast a 3-10% headcount increase. Finding talent has become the #1 challenge for middle-market leaders.
- Enterprises plan to pull all the growth levers: innovation, new products, new markets, and M&A. More than 20% of CFOs say that identifying an acquisition target is a top priority for them for the balance of the year.
- Covid and costs are clouds on the horizon: Covid remains a threat, cited as serious by three leaders in 10; and rising costs and prices may also dampen the recovery.
Overall, there is an overwhelming sense of economic confidence moving forward, a significant contrast to how leaders felt late last year and early in 2021. It is clear that a vibrant economic expansion is occurring in the middle market, and its momentum suggests it should carry well beyond this year. Prices and cost are the most widely cited macroeconomic concerns. At the same time, though, fear of losing top performers to other job opportunities in the next 12 months is at an all-time high.
"It's time to radically rethink recruitment and development of talent." Araco says. "Emerging and mid-market enterprises won't be able to 'hire their way to growth' as they have in the past, and this will lead to some important business and talent-planning innovations in the years ahead."
Download the report HERE.