57% Of Entrepreneurs Say Recruitment Is A Challenge

  • The EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Alumni Network directly employs 241,744 people, a 59% increase in the last five years
  • 79% have increased headcount in last 12 months, 84% plan to increase in next 12 months
  • Combined revenue of €18.8bn

Dublin, 12 March 2018Recruiting experienced staff has been the biggest challenge over the last 12 months according to 57% of Irish entrepreneurs in a survey launched today by EY. The annual survey was conducted amongst 130 top entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland who are all previous finalists in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme and were launched at the Alumni Spring Energiser event on Friday.


The annual conference is a day of executive education, focusing on topics including leadership and health, among others. It is also one of the most popular and valued networking events in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Alumni calendar.


The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Alumni Network now employs 241,744 people directly, an increase of 59% since 2013, equating to almost 90,000 employees. This growth in employment is expected to continue through 2018 as business confidence increases. In 2017, 79% of the Alumni increased the headcount in their companies, while 84% plan to do so in 2018. This translates to approximately 13,000 new jobs.


This jobs growth can be partially attributed to the strong financial performance of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Alumni Network, who reported a combined revenue of €18.8bn in 2017, an increase of €2.2bn since 2013.


Commenting on the research findings, Kevin McLoughlin, Partner Lead, EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Ireland said: “The Irish economy has made great strides in the last few years.  We are particularly proud that the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Alumni Network is creating so much employment and creating opportunities for people, not just in cities but in rural parts of Ireland. While the economy has improved, entrepreneurs always face risks and impediments to growing their businesses. Recruiting the right talent is something that stood out as a challenge for companies over the last 12 months. With 84% of the businesses surveyed planning on increasing their headcount over the next 12 months, it is highly unlikely that this problem will go away.”


“The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Alumni Network has always been a fantastic forum for advice and problem solving among the entrepreneurs but we are seeing more and more that it is a great place to find new business. 67% of our Alumni have now done business with another Alumnus, this is up by 7% since last year, continuing the upward trend we have seen to date.” Kevin added.


The research shows that of the 16% of the entrepreneurs who have exited the original business they were involved in, 90% have reinvested in another business, showing there is an appetite to continue to create employment and drive the Irish economy forward.

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