CEOs rethinking strategies to hire, retain talent: KPMG 2022 CEO Outlook



In its new survey titled ‘ 2022 CEO Outlook’, has revealed that about 46 per cent of the CEOs are considering downsizing their employee base over the next six months while almost 39 per cent have already implemented hiring freeze.


The poll asked more than 1,300 CEOs about their plans and expectations. The survey interviewed leaders of the world’s largest businesses from eleven key markets like Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK and US.


It also covered eleven important industry sectors like asset management, automotive, banking, consumer and retail, energy, infrastructure, insurance, life sciences, manufacturing, technology, and telecommunications.


According to the report, there are indications the ‘Great Resignation’ may be winding down due to ongoing economic unrest.


While in the short term, the CEOs are contemplating downsizing and limiting hiring, in the long term, the scenario is more optimistic with only 9 per cent expecting a further reduced headcount.


Since the employment market began to open up globally in the post-pandemic era, the term ‘great resignation’ has been making the rounds online. While businesses tried to get back to normal after the pandemic, the past 18 months have seen technology face significant staff departures.


According to reports, the ‘Great Resignation’ was brought on by career advancement, a change in industry or job, dissatisfaction with pay, and dissatisfaction with the company’s strategy or direction.


The report also revealed that that 58 per cent of CEOs expect the recession to be mild and short. Eight out of 10 anticipate a recession over the next 12 months, with more than half expecting it to be mild and short.


Talking about his outlook, CEO of Ricoh Europe, Nicola Downing said that having the right people with the best skills is integral to Ricoh’s vision and strategy for the future. Downing said, “We have had an opportunity to really focus on our employees — to be more open and honest about subjects including mental health and wellbeing. We’ve invested in training our people, pushing for change and updating skills to match our new innovations, digital service portfolio and changing customer needs. We want our people to move with us.”


The report also found that 14 per cent of senior executives identify recession among the most pressing concerns today — up slightly from early 2022 (9 per cent), while pandemic fatigue tops the list (15 per cent).


Despite these worries, senior executives have far more confidence in the economy’s ability to survive the next six months (73 per cent) than they did in February (60 per cent) when polled 500 CEOs for its CEO Outlook Pulse study.



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