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Amex: U.S. Middle Market Companies Looking to Hire

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Amex: U.S. Middle Market Companies Looking to Hire

Conditions are ripe for investments at medium-sized enterprises over the next six months, according to a recent American Express survey of middle market companies.

Revenues are reported to be up year-over-year (70%) and a large majority (91%) of U.S. middle market companies are confident they can access the capital they need to grow. More than eight-in-ten firms (81%) plan to make an investment in human capital and hire staff over the next six months.

However, even with increasing revenues and perceived access to capital, more than eight-in-ten (83%) expect cash flow concerns to arise over the next six months. And surprisingly, even those with a centralized “very satisfactory” accounting/expense management system in place expect issues with accurately tracking cash flow into and out of the business.

“Medium-sized enterprises in the U.S. are in an excellent position for expansion.”

“Medium-sized enterprises in the U.S. are in an excellent position for expansion,” said Susan Sobbott, president, Global Corporate Payments, American Express. “Their positive outlook is bolstered by increasing revenues and access to capital for investment, however getting a handle on cash flow continues to be challenging.”

Hiring to Handle Business Volume
Hiring appears to be on the upswing at medium-sized enterprises. More than half of companies (55%) say they currently have more employees than they did one year ago. Among those currently planning to add staff, nearly six-in-ten (57%) say they need to hire to support business volume. Additional reasons for hiring include:

  • A new business venture (38%)
  • The need for seasonal help (29%)
  • The company has finally found the right candidate for positions they have been trying to fill for some time (27%)

Among those who plan to add staff over the next six months:

  • 52% plan to hire only full-time employees
  • 14% plan to hire only part-time employees
  • 16% plan to hire both full and part-time staff

In addition, more than one-quarter (26%) plan to increase investments in their sales and marketing functions.

The survey results point to additional good news for those considering employment at medium-sized enterprises. One third (33%) of companies say the main reason they are able to retain employees is their compensation package (including competitive salary and stock options).

Growth is Top Priority
Financial decision makers surveyed have a positive outlook on business prospects over the next six months, irrespective of how the economy behaves. Forty-four percent say they expect their business to grow regardless of the economy, and a similar number (40%) have an even more positive outlook, saying they actually see the economy improving and expanding opportunities for their business.

The single most important priority for nearly half of U.S. business owners (47%) over the next six months is growing their business. As they look to expand, companies believe investments in infrastructure, including technology and operations, will most help them grow (26%), in addition to acquiring new customers (25%), followed by accessing more cash flow/capital (20%), retaining/growing existing customer relationships (15%) and attracting and retaining top talent (13%).

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