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Middle Market Sentiments

By April 6, 2015Newsletters

The monthly jobs report was out on Friday and indicated only 126,000 jobs were added in March, indicating a bit of a slow down in the overall economy.

While this monthly jobs report that the Federal Government posts is a good overall economic indicator, many of us know that what is happening in the middle market is often different. Although the release of the March employment information is useful, there are two other studies that speak directly to the middle market that may be more relevant for our community: The “2015 CFO Sentiment Study,” which was issued by The CFO Alliance and surveyed middle market CFOs (86% of respondents) and related finance executives from across the country on their strategic planning and financial outlook for 2015, and the study by the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) on “Building the Top Team.”

Headlines from the 2015 CFO Sentiment Study:

  • Over 61% of the December 2014 respondents to the CFO Alliance study characterized the U.S. economy as strong, compared with 70% of the respondents in December 2013 who characterized the prospects for the U.S. economy into 2014 to be weak.  Wow!
  • The CFO Alliance study has noted that becoming more customer centric, investing in technology, and acquiring and inspiring appropriate human capital were the top three initiatives in 2015; in fact 66% of finance chiefs reported being “concerned or greatly concerned” about talent acquisition and retention

Headlines from the NCMM “Building the Top Team” Report:

  • The NCMM report stated that employer brand/reputation, combined with a credible employee value proposition, significantly increases the likelihood of recruiting the best talent
  • While salary and bonus need to be at or above market, top candidates noted a) the quality of the people within the company; b) meaningfulness of work; and c) the culture of the company as the top three components of an attractive “employee value proposition”
  • In 2015, 60% of the candidate pool is employed and consider themselves to be “passive”; active candidates utilize LinkedIn and job boards while passive candidates rely on recruiters and referral networks

The sentiments of financial leaders across America have a direct correlation to the employment desires among middle market talent. Now is the time to make the investments in sourcing, attracting, and retaining top talent.

See full newsletter here.

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