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According to the research, which is published earlier this week at the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, nearly half (48 per cent) of the 1,400 CEOs interviewed planned to increase their headcount over the next 12 months, a slight drop on last year (50 per cent).
Technology ranks first in terms of the percentage of CEOs expecting to boost headcount, followed by asset management, pharmaceuticals & life sciences, healthcare and hospitality and leisure.
Table: List of CEOs planning job increases by industry
Source: PwC’s 2016 Annual Global CEO survey
Technology also saw the highest increase in terms of percentage of CEO planning job increases, rising by 12 percentage points on year, followed by hospitality & leisure and communications, both rising by 8 percentage points.
The field seeing the highest decrease is banking & capital markets, falling by 10 percentage points, followed by metals and engineering & construction, both falling by 9 percentage points.
According to the report, concerns about the availability of key skills remain high (72 per cent). Technology also topped among the sectors in this respect, while sectors more traditionally aligned with ‘STEM’ (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills including manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, also feature.
Also, technology is becoming more and more important in the operations of companies, with more than three quarters of CEOs (77 per cent) believe technological advances will have transformed expectations of businesses over the next five years.