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1Private Companies Plan to Add Jobs in 2010

Private Companies Prepare for Growth by Hiring in 2010As economic recovery looms, PriceWaterhouseCoopers’s recent survey found the majority of leading private companies are preparing for the turnaround with plans and budgets targeted at hiring and managing the industry’s top talent. Channel Insider takes a deeper look at the survey of 260 executives of privately-held companies driving over $150M annually.

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Increased Workforce Budgets In a sign that CEOs and CFOs believe the economic tide may be turning, 57 percent of those survey reported plans to increase their total workforce expenses over the next 12 to 18 months, while 35 percent of executives plan to remain the same. Only 5 percent expect a decrease in workforce expenses.

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Objectives Aligned Despite workforce reductions, the majority of respondents still think their company’s remaining workforce is well aligned to business objectives for the coming year. Sixty-one percent believe their companies own the right skill sets at the management level to lead their companies effectively over the next 12 to 24 months. 35 percent admit existing skill gaps.

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Filling the Skill Gap Last year, the biggest workforce areas hit were high overhead areas like skilled labor and middle management. Of the companies that believe they have skill gaps, 82 percent plan to fill that skill gap by hiring new talent and 68 percent aim to broaden worker skill sets through training and development. Thirty-two percent plan to redeploy employees to target problem areas, and 22 percent plan to tap contractors as a means to fill skill gaps at companies.

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Potential Hires Got Talent "Because of recent layoffs, there’s talent in the marketplace that may not have been available a few years ago at current salary levels. Private companies should be looking for catalyst hires – employees who will join the business, share their experience and move the company forward at a faster pace than otherwise would have been possible." – Ken Esch, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Company Services practice

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Restoring Benefits The survey shows many companies taking a close look at salary and benefits programs to attract and retain the best talent. Some are already restoring salary reductions and benefits like 401K matching slashed during the economic slide. One in 5 companies reported goals to competitively position themselves as employers of choice to better recruit employees.

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Capitalize on Existing Talent Aiming to take advantage of existing workforces, 39 percent of those surveyed are currently investing or plan to invest over the next 12 months in talent management programs. Fifty-four percent said they had no plans to invest.

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Where’s the ROI? Companies are struggling to determine ROI on business practices and technology investments that affect initiatives such as talent management and training. Only 8 percent of survey respondents say they know what they are getting from their investments in talent, while 67 percent do not.