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92% of SA firms are planning to hire more staff

Most South African businesses are planning to increase or maintain headcount in 2013, according to the latest research from Regus, the world’s largest workspace provider with strong representation in South Africa and a growing network of business centres across Africa.

What’s more, the study commissioned by the leading global office space provider says many companies report rising revenue and profits.

The findings have pushed the Regus Confidence Index for South Africa to 121 points, up five points from October 2012.

Joanne Bushell, VP Africa for Regus, noted: “International findings come as a pleasant surprise following lower business confidence readings reported recently by local researchers.

“Our study of international markets puts strong emphasis on the intention to hire and key indicators like profits and revenue – areas in which we see significant positives.

“Shifts in sentiment highlight the importance of flexibility in business planning and underline a key aspect of Regus’ business proposition – that it makes sense for cost-efficient companies to adopt solutions that allow them to expand or contract in line with market changes.”

The South Africa findings are part of a Regus survey covering more than 26 000 businesses in 90 countries.

The South African breakdown shows:

  • 92% of businesses are planning to increase or maintain headcount in 2013
  • 31% of businesses plan to increase headcount by more than 5%
  • 57% think firms will hire more sales and marketing employees
  • 40% highlight demand for operational staff
  • over the past 12 months, 57% of businesses report rising revenues
  • 43% report increased profits

Joanne Bushell commented: “While unemployment remains stubbornly high at 24%, President Zuma has pledged to create 5 million jobs by 2020[1]. These results show South Africa is particularly likely to boost employee numbers, with sales and marketing professionals in particular demand.

“However, day-to-day experience with South African clients suggests expenses will still be well managed. Businesses will continue to explore ways of cutting fixed office space costs while increasing staff productivity – good news for our own business model with its emphasis on smart office solutions that encourage businesses to only pay for what they use.”

Internationally, the overall Regus Business Confidence Index is up three points from October at 114 points.