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PEOPLE POWER

Survey: CFOs Cite Strong Leadership, Talent As Keys To Staying Ahead Of The Competition

MENLO PARK, CA -- Employing good people is a company’s best line of defense against the competition, a recent survey of chief financial officers (CFOs) suggests. More than half (55 percent) of executives interviewed said that having solid leadership and hiring outstanding talent are the best ways to protect against threats from rival firms. State-of-the-art technology is also viewed as a significant advantage, cited by 24 percent of respondents.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting, the world’s first and largest specialized financial recruitment service. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, “Which one of the following will best protect companies from competitive threats in the next three years?” Their responses:

Strong company leadership   28%
A focus on hiring the best people   27%
Up-to-date technology   24%
The ability to develop and implement new ideas quickly   9%
Up-to-date competitive intelligence and market data   6%
Other   5%
Don't know/no answer   1%
    100%

“In any economy, an organization’s most valuable asset is its people, but this is even more true in uncertain times when a company’s survival may depend on strong leadership and maintaining high customer service levels,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Companies must be able to quickly shift gears to take advantage of new opportunities, which requires clear vision and capable staff.”

Messmer noted, “With outstanding performers now in the job market, companies have access to professionals who would not have been available one year ago. Even though managers are closely watching budgets, it makes sense to hire people who can help the company enhance its depth of skills and expertise and grow now and in the future.”

Keeping current with technology also remains critical for companies to maintain a competitive edge, according to Messmer.

About the Survey
The national study was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. It 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 companies from all segments are represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and employee size. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of employee size within each region.

About Robert Half Finance & Accounting
Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half, has more than 360 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalffinance.com.

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