CFOs Expect Financial Hiring to Increase in First Quarter

Robert Half Financial Hiring Index: Recruiting Difficulties Rise

MENLO PARK, CA, Dec. 14, 2011 -- Looking toward the new year, chief financial officers (CFOs) expect the financial hiring outlook to improve in the first quarter. Twenty percent of executives interviewed for the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index said they plan to add full-time accounting and finance employees, while 11 percent forecast staff decreases. The resulting net 9 percent increase is up four points from the fourth-quarter survey and represents the third consecutive quarter of sequential growth.

Although hiring plans may be on the upswing, companies are facing difficulties finding professionals with the right skills to fill a number of key roles. Sixty-eight percent of executives reported recruiting challenges, up from 59 percent in the fourth quarter and 41 percent in the third quarter.

The Robert Half Financial Hiring Index, part of the company's quarterly Professional Employment Report, is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half, the world's first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. Robert Half has been tracking financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.

"Competition for the best employees is intensifying, and, at the same time, these professionals are beginning to feel increasingly comfortable exploring new roles at other firms," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half. "Businesses are still selective when hiring but understand they need to move quickly once the right candidate is identified."

View the research highlights.

Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Region

The Mountain[1] and New England[2] regions are projected to see the most active hiring in the first quarter. A net 16 percent of executives interviewed in each of these parts of the country said they are planning to hire full-time accounting and finance employees.

"In the Mountain region, businesses -- small-to-midsize organizations, in particular -- are having difficulty finding in-demand professionals, such as financial analysts and controllers," Messmer commented. "In the New England area, professional services, construction and biotech companies also seek financial analysts, as well as internal auditors."

Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Industry

Executives in the transportation and construction sectors anticipate the most hiring activity in the first quarter, according to the survey. A net 18 percent of CFOs in each industry said they plan to add staff.

About the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index
First published in 1992, the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. For the study to be statistically representative and ensure that businesses from all segments were represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and company size (by number of employees). The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of company size within each region.

The Financial Hiring Index is conducted as part of the Robert Half Professional Employment Report, which tracks hiring trends among professional occupations. More information about the Professional Employment Report is available at www.roberthalf.us/per.

About Robert Half
Robert Half was founded in 1948 and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Its financial staffing divisions include Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively. The company has more than 350 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at www.roberthalf.com.

 

Financial Hiring: By Industry

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage ...   

Increase

Decrease

No Change

Undecided

Total

United States   

20

11

69

0

100

Manufacturing  

17

15

66

2

100

Retail                 

14

12

74

0

100

Fin., Ins. & R. Estate

27

13

60

0

100

Prof. Services 

22

11

67

0

100

Construction    

21

3

76

0

100

Wholesale        

14

7

77

2

100

Transportation   

32

14

54

0

100

Bus. Services      

20

12

68

0

100

Comparative Data: Two-Year History of the Financial Hiring Index

 

 

 

 

Quarter 

Percent Increase

Percent Decrease 

   Net Increase

1Q12    

20

11

9

4Q11     

12

7

5

3Q11     

7

6

1

2Q11      

7

7

0

1Q11         

8

6

2

4Q10          

8

7

1

3Q10           

6

9

-3

2Q10            

7

8

-1

1Q10             

6

9

-3

 

[1] Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming

[2] Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

For further information: CONTACT: Joel Dibble, +1-650-234-6288, joel.dibble@roberthalf.com, for Robert Half


print Print   email E-mail   rss RSS