Encouragingly, the majority of our respondents were hopeful of an improved economic outlook although both external and internal factors are influencing their ability to expand and grow.
The factors that finance leaders expect to affect their business most are:
1. The eurozone crisis (28%)
2. Increased competition in their industry (16%)
3. Internal change/restructures (15.5%)
4. Availability of the right talent (11%)
When looking at expansion, 26% of respondents reported that increasing customer base/market share in existing regions was their number one strategy. Upping production was a close second, with 19% of those surveyed indicating this as a growth plan.
The finance market is looking mobile; with 61% expecting to move to another company in the next two years. This is supported in part by recent positive headlines, like the news that GSK plans to create up to 1000 new jobs in the UK following the cut on patent tax announced in the last budget.
Looking internationally, 46% would relocate globally for their next role – indicating that ambitious professionals may start to examine other global financial centres for rapid career progression.
The consensus seems to be that the market is still tough and companies are knuckling down and trying to grow through selling more to existing customers and taking share from the competition, rather than by acquisition or diversifying into new areas.
It’s a positive sign that the majority of respondents expect to move company within the next two years, and the high proportion willing to relocate internationally indicates that the best people will consider looking further afield for opportunities to enhance their careers.
However, many businesses are restructuring this year and most are working hard to retain their best people. At Michael Page Finance, we’re seeing some skills shortages, like people with a proven track record in change management. Despite a perception of a ‘candidate-rich’ market, recruitment processes are still affected by a lack of available talent in certain key areas.