52% of execs say inhouse expertise is no longer worth it

Outsourcing specialized talent a growing trend this year: Richter

More to do balancing people, planet and profits.

TORONTO — Fifty-two per cent of all Canadian executives say paying for in-house expertise in niche areas of their businesses isn’t worth it anymore, according to an Angus Reid business study commissioned by Richter, an accounting and business advisory firm in Toronto and Montreal.

Richter’s survey, entitled, The Canadian BizHealth Report, surveyed 500 senior executives across the country who think outsourcing for specialized expertise will be a growing trend this year.

“We’re seeing some important shifting tides that are building a new booming ‘Borrowed Expertise’ market in Canada,” said Mitch Silverstein, partner at Richter in Toronto. “This specialized knowledge outsourcing will be a key strategy to drive business growth in the foreseeable future.”

Here are some survey highlights:

• 58% follow their guts to identify where the business should go, then get the experts on their team to chart a path, but 71% cite recruitment of top talent a challenge and they’ve had to increase salary ranges to attract and retain quality employees.

• 77% cite finding a support team that could keep up with them on an entrepreneurial path one of their biggest challenges.

• 39% would invest in their employees, another 39% would focus on product and technology development.

• 41% of business executives report knowing someone who left his or her job to pursue personal entrepreneurial goals within the past year. This is a significant talent retention challenge for businesses.

• There’s a growing divide among business philosophies between older and younger generations. Seventy-eight per cent think their C-suites should be doing more to embrace a triple bottom line philosophy in their business – balancing people, planet and profits.

“We are most definitely seeing an entrepreneurial psychology taking over both the youngest and oldest generations in today’s workforce – the rise of the ‘greypreneur’ and ‘solopreneur’,” Silverstein observed. “They are embracing the mindset of ‘Why should I work as hard as I can so other people can make money?’ They want to be their own boss, and they are okay with the risks that come with that move.”

Silverstein said many entrepreneur-minded business professionals would rather keep their gains for themselves and build a niche expertise on their own.