Jun 07 2012 10:35am EDT

Who’s Hiring? Entrepreneurs, That’s Who


Entrepreneurs were hiring briskly in 2011, and plan to do the same this year, according to a new Ernst & Young global survey.

Leave the job creation to entrepreneurs, but don’t hit them with regulations and policies.

That’s the word from entrepreneurs around the world to their respective governments, according to a survey of 400 released Wednesday evening by Ernst & Young, which showed that while other businesses appear to be struggling to create jobs, entrepreneur-led companies expanded their workforce by 16 percent in 2011. What’s more, upwards of two-thirds of those surveyed expect to recruit in 2012.

When the entrepreneurs were asked which factors in their domestic market could potentially impact their bullish 2012 hiring plans, government policies led the list with 23 percent most concerned about that issue, followed by a negative regulatory climate, which was cited by 16 percent.

“Governments worldwide, led by the G20, should really appreciate entrepreneurs for what they are—an engine for growth,” said Maria Pinelli, global vice-chair for strategic growth markets at Ernst & Young.

Nearly all of those entrepreneurs surveyed had increased their headcount last year, often by a substantial amount, the survey noted. On average, the entrepreneurs surveyed from the Americas grew their ranks in 2011 by 18 percent. (A survey of U.S. entrepreneurs from the Kauffman Foundation, by contrast, found that brand-new startups in 2011 by and large didn’t hire.)

In the Asia-Pacific region and Europe the increases were 16 percent and 12 percent, respectively, the Ernst & Young survey said.

Most of those surveyed, 81 percent, said they had created roles for “experienced personnel,” while 35 percent said to have recruited at ‘entry level with a degree’ and 29 percent recruited ‘entry level with no degree’. The trend toward hiring experienced staffers was most pronounced in the United States, where 92 percent of the respondents confirmed that they hired at an experienced level, followed by Australia at 81 percent, Canada at 80 percent, the United Kingdom at 78 percent and Ireland at 76 percent.

A sizable portion of entrepreneurs (44 percent) also planned to increase their workforce outside of their headquarters country, with the United States, China, the United Kingdom and India being the most popular destinations.

Most (74 percent) were going outside of their countries not to exploit cheaper labor costs but to take advantage of new markets.

Want tips on how to hire for your startup? Check out advice from Kimberly Stone, a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, and founder of

Leave a Reply