Despite the tough economy, family-owned businesses remain optimistic about hiring and retaining employees, according to the 2012 Family Enterprise USA survey of family firms. The annual survey recently released compiles responses from 300 family firm executives from a wide range of industry sectors. 54% of respondents indicated that they intend to hire more workers in the next twelve months, while only 8% said they would be reducing their workforce. Longevity and stable leadership are among other attributes of family-owned businesses. 33% of respondents represent companies that have been in business between 30 and 60 years, while 44% have been in business for over 60 years. Among these well-established firms, more than one-third of the respondents have had the same executive running the company for over 20 years.
Although 50% of the respondents indicated flat or lower revenue as a result of the recession, only 34% have reduced their workforce. In fact, many older firms demonstrated core strength in the face of a tough recession – one-third of businesses with between 60 and 100 years of operation actually increased their workforce over the last couple of years.
“This year’s survey reaffirms the bedrock principles of family-owned businesses based on what we know from academic research,” said FEUSA President Ann Kinkade. “Because of their focus on long-term, sustainable growth, family owned businesses are committed to their employees and communities over time. Family firms have leadership tenure four to five times longer than shareholder-controlled businesses. They also have greater workforce stability and are more likely to hire and retain employees in the face of a tough economy.”