DAILY NEWS Feb 25, 2013 5:19 PM - 0 comments

Majority of global entrepreneurs plan to boost workforce in 2013: report

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Bolstered by innovative plans, more than half of entrepreneurs across the country and around the world are planning to grow their workforce in 2013 – but they fear they can’t always get the skilled help they need, according to a new survey by Ernst & Young.

The Toronto-based professional service firm’s new Global Job Creation report shows this anticipated growth comes following a similar trend in 2012, in which 74 per cent of respondents said they increased staff levels.

“It’s fascinating that entrepreneurs are pushing ahead with their plans for growth in spite of some stark economic forecasts across the globe,” Ernst & Young partner and entrepreneurial services leader Colleen McMorrow said in a statement. “But what really stands out is the reason behind that growth. The vast majority of respondents cited innovation as the main driver, which makes it one of the biggest job creators out there right now.”

In fact, 88 per cent of survey respondents across a wide number of industries agreed that innovation was the one genuine differentiator and advantage they have over the competition; that number was slightly higher (90 per cent) among Canadian respondents.

Some 74 per cent of respondents said that innovation is the reason behind their growth in the last year.

Their optimism notwithstanding, entrepreneurs said they were in desperate need of attracting the right individuals to fill those anticipated positions as they continue to grow. The vast majority – including 61 per cent of Canadian respondents – put specific industry and knowledge skills at the top of their wish list for future hires. They cited less interest in candidates with narrow, functional backgrounds such as engineering, finance and human resources.

“What this means is more and more entrepreneurs are looking for people who can develop the ideas and concepts that will propel the business forward, and help drive the kind of innovation needed to edge a further advantage over the competition,” McMorrow said. “In a tough market like this one, talent is going to become an increasingly important piece of the puzzle for businesses that want to thrive over the long term, and really transform their industries.”

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