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March 11, 2004
U.S. Hiring Push Will Test Employee Loyalty, Accenture Surveys Find

In An Uptick, Workers Ask, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

NEW YORK; March 11, 2004 – In another sign that the U.S. economy is improving, American businesses say they plan to increase hiring in the next three months, testing the loyalties of a national workforce that is uncertain about whether to seek new job opportunities or stay with their current employers, according to new surveys by Accenture.

A global survey of 954 executives found that 83 percent of U.S. companies plan on hiring in the next three months. Nearly one quarter (22 percent) say they are already recruiting actively.

The employment outlook in the U.S. is the best among the 10 countries surveyed, followed by Canada, Australia, Japan and the UK. The employment outlook is the least positive in France and Spain.

The uptick in hiring is expected to test the loyalty of the U.S. workforce. In a survey of 508 full-time U.S. workers conducted at approximately the same time as the executive study, respondents said they were undecided about whether they want to stay at their current jobs for the long-term. More than half (55 percent) said they plan to stay at their current jobs more than 10 years. At the same time, 40 percent plan to leave within the next five years.

Despite this uncertainty, respondents revealed that they are upbeat about the future of their jobs and positions -- 87 percent of respondents believe their positions will exist in five to 10 years, while only 11 percent said they believe their jobs will not exist long-term.

Employees who said they plan to leave their current jobs within in the next five years noted a variety of factors that would prompt them to stay put. The primary reason, cited by almost three-quarters (71 percent) of respondents, was more money, followed by opportunities for advancement (58 percent) and a different boss or management team (30 percent). Twenty-seven percent said they would stay in their current jobs if they received better or more training, but more than half (51 percent) of all respondents said that their employers are not providing training to expand their skills.

“We are entering a dynamic period for the employment market,” said Ed Jensen, a partner in Accenture’s Human Performance service line. “While these findings show that many employees want to stay put, others will be tempted by the improving economy and offers of better compensation. Employers should protect themselves from raids on their talent by ensuring that their compensation and benefits programs remain competitive. In addition, by focusing on training and other skill-building opportunities, as well as on increased employee dialogue with senior management, they can enhance employees’ satisfaction and commitment in advance of competitive offers.”


Executive Survey
Accenture interviewed 954 senior executives at many of the world’s largest organizations across all major industries and the public sector in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Japan and Canada. Respondents include executives at the highest levels of senior management ("C-suite" executives) as well as heads of key functional areas, such as human resources. For this year’s telephone survey, fieldwork was conducted between September 2003 and December 2003.

Employee Survey
The survey, part of an ICR/International Communications Research omnibus survey conducted by telephone in December 2003, entailed querying 508 people in the United States aged 18-59 who are employed full-time but not self-employed

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With approximately 86,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$11.8 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2003. Its home page is