The plight of Boston jobs is discussed in a new CFO survey.
Chief financial officers are markedly shifting their focus from cost cutting to revenue growth, but they remain wary of increased hiring at home, according to the results of the Deloitte CFO Signals quarterly survey for the first quarter of 2011. Specifically, the CFOs surveyed said nearly half of their companies’ strategic focus is on revenue growth—substantially ahead of their 30 percent focus on cost reduction.
Despite the focus on growth, the survey, which tracks the thinking and actions of CFOs representing many of North America’s largest and most influential companies, also indicates that growth may not translate into jobs in the near term. Year-over-year domestic hiring growth projections for the first quarter of 2011 remained low at 1.8 percent, similar to projections from the previous three quarters. Only after a 20 percent revenue gain did a majority of CFOs say they would increase domestic hiring substantially. Also, a 5 percent increase in revenue would have little or no impact for 70 percent of the surveyed companies, and a 10 percent revenue increase would substantially increase hiring for only 11 percent of companies.
“With cash on their balance sheets and cost efficiency gains largely accounted for, many companies are now heavily focused on top-line growth,” said Sanford Cockrell III, national managing partner, CFO Program, Deloitte LLP. “Having ridden a wave of recovery-related improvements for the past few quarters, companies are seeking growth on their own terms.”