70pc of directors expect to hire new staff this year
ALMOST seven out of 10 company directors expect to hire new employees in the next 12 months.
New research found 64pc of board members claim there has been an increase in business activity in their organisation in the past year, while 28pc say activity remained steady over the last 12 months.
A sample 160 members of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland were quizzed for the research, conducted for it by Behaviour & Attitudes.
IoD chief executive Maura Quinn said the results represent a snapshot of sentiment among those operating at the highest level of business in Ireland.
"On the whole, the results are positive," she said.
"Directors are firmly of the view that international confidence in Ireland as a location to do business has improved over the past 12 months and the indications for the year ahead are good, with a positive outlook among directors, particularly in terms of employment."
The majority of directors – 95pc – believe international confidence in Ireland as a place to do business has improved either marginally or significantly within the past year.
The survey, carried out with directors across a range of organisations throughout Ireland, also assessed satisfaction with Government.
It found the Government's target to reduce unemployment to below 10pc by 2016 is achievable, according to 68pc of those surveyed.
However almost a third (31pc) did not agree.
Having been in office for a little over three years, and posters for a local election already on lampposts nationwide, the Government is perceived to have performed adequately or well according to 69pc of directors.
But another quarter were of the view that the Government needs to improve its performance.
"While the business community can play its part in continuing to rebuild confidence, Government must also put in place the right conditions to enable businesses to grow, to create employment and to invest in Ireland's future," Ms Quinn added.
The institute represents almost 2,000 directors and senior executives within the private and public sectors.
Its study was carried out between March 24 and April 4 and included SMEs (34pc), followed by overseas subsidiary (18pc), multinational (17pc), plcs and large private forms (9pc) and other (22pc).