fbpx

Inside the 2023 C-suite: Optimism returns, but cost-cutting could include marketing

by | Feb 16, 2023 | Marketing, Public Relations

A new survey of 300 US-based CEOs from hiring operating firm Greenhouse finds that the majority remain optimistic about the economy but continue to explore alternative ways to reduce costs. When prioritizing cost-reducing measures across different business areas such as wages, benefits, external services, as well as marketing and advertising. Those surveyed ranked real estate as the area most likely to be cut, suggesting that companies are continuing to reevaluate their need for costly commercial rents and large real estate portfolios.

“Tightening the belt is a natural and prudent course of action in a volatile economic climate. Some companies will be forced to reduce costs to protect future growth. However, this study shows that CEOs appreciate that their talent is their greatest asset, and they are considering every other course of action before jobs are lost,” said Daniel Chait, CEO and co-founder of Greenhouse, in a news release. “This recession is notably different from previous ones because in-demand talent is extremely mobile.”

Inside the 2023 C-suite: Optimism returns, but cost-cutting could include marketing

The study, conducted in early January, also shows that very few CEOs (10 percent) anticipate a decrease in headcount, and almost one-fifth of CEOs even predict that their company may be able to increase headcount by as much as 30 percent this year. The research shows that 81 percent of CEOs were either very optimistic or somewhat optimistic about the economic outlook for the first half of 2023, with that number rising to 84 percent for the second half of the year. Over three-quarters of respondents (76 percent) plan to increase or maintain their hiring team headcount in 2023.

In terms of specific job market trends, CEOs expect high wages (49 percent), job security (47 percent) and healthcare, vision, and dental benefits (40 percent) to be the main employee priorities when negotiating new roles this year, with the report indicating that CEOs don’t anticipate much change from 2022 in terms of the balance of power. Almost 40 percent of CEOs still expect candidates to be looking for some level of hybrid or flexible work, and 33 percent said there will be a continued emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Inside the 2023 C-suite: Optimism returns, but cost-cutting could include marketing

“Our internal data supports the feedback we are seeing from CEOs. The number of jobs and offers has decreased, but candidates are still turning down offers at a rate of 11–12 percent, showing that they are still in an advantageous negotiating position,” said Chait. “CEOs are still predicting a skills shortage and high employment levels, so the companies that put people first will find it easier to hire.”

Additional findings show that the challenging economic environment has the potential to derail or stagnate progress on corporate social responsibility. Climate action and ESG have fallen down the priority list for many CEOs as they cope with ongoing economic challenges. According to the surveyed CEOs, the biggest issues companies face in 2023 are economic turbulence (64 percent), rising inflation rates (62 percent) and staff retention (27 percent), with ESG and climate action ranking comparatively lower.

Inside the 2023 C-suite: Optimism returns, but cost-cutting could include marketing

Download the full report here.

Greenhouse commissioned Zogby Analytics to conduct an online survey of 300 US-based CEOs with a minimum of 100 employees. Based on a confidence interval of 95 percent, the margin of error is +/- 5.7 percentage points.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

RECENT ARTICLES

ICYMI: Bulldog’s most popular posts in June

ICYMI: Bulldog’s most popular posts in June

Despite a bit of a summer slowdown from the massive traffic we’ve seen so far this year, Bulldog had some high-traffic posts thanks largely to our wonderful contributors, who opined on timely and important issues like the rise of virtual influencers, winning new...

Smart strategic tips for building a strong online brand presence

Smart strategic tips for building a strong online brand presence

In an era marked by widespread internet access and rapid information exchange, a robust online brand presence has become indispensable. It functions as the digital storefront that attracts potential customers, the platform for establishing industry authority, and the...