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Top SA Companies united in positive business outlook

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Top SA Companies united in positive business outlook

Ten of SA’s top companies have unanimously claimed to be positive about the country’s business outlook for 2013 in a recent anonymous survey. But their optimism was tempered by the familiar concerns dogging local businesses.

Top of the concerns cited were labour unrest and acquiring and retaining suitable experienced and qualified employees.


In the latest Jack Hammer Corporate Survey, conducted among South Africa’s top corporate employers by leading executive search firm Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters, entities polled represented the financial services, engineering and manufacturing industries. Responding to the question: “Are you positive about the business outlook for 2013?” all respondents gave an unqualified “Yes”.


Asked about the biggest challenge facing their business in the coming year, businesses listed a diverse range of factors, indicating the complexity of running large private sector corporations (which globally have similar challenges) within the unique South African context.


Issues such as regulatory changes, global growth, talent retention, and consumers’ reduced spending power are common in almost all developed markets; whereas labour unrest, high unemployment and political uncertainty are over and above these, top-of-mind concerns for most business leaders in South Africa.


Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, MD of Jack Hammer says despite the familiar concerns, it was an optimistic sign that without fail, companies expected 2013 to be a positive year.


“It’s less about any major changes in the global or domestic markets – because frankly macro-economic threats still loom, and domestic growth is still only marginal – and more about a relative positioning  to where we stood in early 2012 with tremendous worldwide economic uncertainty”  Goodman-Bhyat said.


But she added it was important to address continued hostilities between labour, business and government.


“The level of concern about labour unrest is quite alarming, as is business’ lack of faith in all parties honouring existing agreements. Moreover, with limited or no apparent solutions to these issues coming forth from any quarter, there is significant anxiety around the country’s ability to tackle political and social challenges, to ensure an environment conducive to investment, growth and job creation.”


Interestingly, whilst  Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters was seeing an increasing flow of South Africans living abroad returning to the country since the global financial crisis in 2008, the marked up-tick of labour unrest and perceived political uncertainty of late 2012 seems to have stemmed the flow”, notes Goodman-Bhyat.

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat

Debbie entered the field of recruitment in 1998 with a financial services headhunting firm, and within one year she was one of the top billers in executive search in SA. In 2000 she established her own executive search firm, diversified the industry focus, and then partnered with Fusion Consulting in 2001. As the founder and Managing Director of JACKHAMMER, she is an industry-leading headhunter, placing top executives in SA's leading corporates for more than eight years. Her unique style and vision may come from her somewhat unconventional background as an award-winning contemporary dance choreographer, director and dancer! Now, as an entrepreneur in the business world, she maintains her passion for work and relentless drive to get it right.

Website: www.jhammer.co.za

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