(From Business Journal Daily) -- The CEOs of the nation's private
companies are expressing renewed optimism about the economy and
their intention to focus on strategic growth over the next 12
months, finds a new study. They're also making talent management a
top priority but have identified skill gaps as they make hiring
The majority (51%) of CEOs responding to PwC's Private Company
Trendsetter Barometer say that they need to fill certain skill gaps
to meet their business objectives over the next one to two years,
while 49% believe they have the right skills in place.
Notably, more international marketers reported that they have skill
gaps than their domestic-only peers (57% and 46%, respectively).
Among private companies overall, the largest skill gaps identified
were in middle management (53%) and skilled labor (48%). Those
companies with skill gaps will focus on several areas over the next
one to two years, including marketing and sales (65%), information
technology (36%) and engineering/design (35%).
"Over the past two years, CEOs were focused on cost containment,
making deep work force cuts in anticipation of a protracted
recession," said Ken Esch, a partner in PwC's private company
services practice. "Emerging from the recession, companies are now
shifting their focus, with growth being top of mind these days and
executives repositioning their companies for the long term. For
many firms, this means making strategic hires in areas that will
drive growth, as well as looking carefully at current people and
pivotal roles that create value."