Attracting and retaining talent remains a challenge as boomers enter retirement
TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Family businesses are a good news story in the Canadian economy but face challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, according to a report released by PwC Canada's Private Company Services group today.
The 2014 PwC Global Family Business Survey notes that family businesses in Canada are growing. More than two thirds (67%) of respondents achieved topline growth in the last year, and an even larger percentage (85%) are projecting growth over the next five years. This strength and confidence is likely a result of expected continued economic recovery, as well as the ability private family companies have to remain agile amidst economic uncertainty.
"Family businesses are making the most of the economic recovery and are pushing forward in their plans for growth," says Saul Plener, National Private Company Services Leader at PwC Canada. "While they remain cautious about investing in international markets, they continue to have a strong sense of confidence and optimism towards the road ahead."
However, family businesses face challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, with 71% citing this as their top concern over the next five years. Family-owned companies tend to require sophisticated leadership and a diversity of skill sets, but aren't always able to provide market-competitive compensation. These challenges highlight a need for family businesses to professionalize, something that is on the radar for only 21% of Canadian respondents over the next five years.
Furthermore, there is a significant demographic shift occurring in Canada—baby boomers are retiring, creating a skills gap in the workforce and putting a squeeze on family businesses. This is particularly challenging for the 27% of respondents looking to sell or float their companies—the aging workforce will create a highly competitive buyer's market between 2018 and 2025, meaning that succession planning will be particularly crucial for those seeking to exit.
Still, family businesses bring considerable benefit to the workforce and the economy that goes beyond compensation and demographics. For example, 80% of Canadian respondents state that they measure success beyond just profitability, and that they are committed to retaining staff even in bad times. They agree their culture and values are stronger (75%), they are more entrepreneurial (71%), make decisions faster (73%) and take a longer term approach to setting strategy (65%) than non-family businesses.
"Family businesses add a dynamic, robust and often complex layer to the general business community, and their operational models often reflect the agility needed to survive in today's environment," says Sharon Duguid, Director, Center for Entrepreneurs and Family Enterprise, PwC. "Their sense of responsibility and community spirit lends itself well to a harsh and competitive market, and if they can invest in capacity and capability, bringing in the right people with the right skills, they'll continue to be a key pillar of the Canadian economy."
For more results and insights from the survey, please visit www.pwc.com/ca/familybusiness.
About PwC Canada
PwC Canada helps organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. More than 5,700 partners and staff in offices across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC network of firms with more than 184,000 people in 157 countries. Find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/ca
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SOURCE: PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)