Mountain, West South Central Regions Forecast Greatest Increases

MENLO PARK, CA -- Financial executives expect to continue hiring accounting and finance professionals in the third quarter, according to the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index, although at a more moderate rate than during the second quarter. Six percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed anticipate adding employees and 3 percent forecast personnel cutbacks. Ninety percent of those polled foresee no change in staff levels. Respondents cited rising workloads as the primary driver of hiring.


The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half, the world’s largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting, finance and information technology. Robert Half has been tracking financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.


“Companies have become more strategic in their hiring efforts and are looking for individuals who combine strong technical expertise with outstanding communication skills,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half. “Once solid candidates are identified, employers are moving quickly to bring them on board.”


Messmer added, “The demand for skilled accounting and finance professionals remains strong, and firms must find ways to differentiate themselves -- from providing higher compensation and better benefits to enhancing the work environment -- to attract top performers.”  


Accounting and Financial Hiring -- By Region

The Mountain1 and West South Central2 states forecast the greatest gains in hiring. In each region, 10 percent of financial executives said they plan to add staff and 1 percent expect reductions in personnel, a net 9 percent increase.


“The tight labor market in the Mountain states is causing many organizations to offer higher salaries and additional perks to secure financial talent,” said Messmer.


“In the West South Central, hiring is being led by the manufacturing and oil and gas industries,” added Messmer. “In particular, businesses need staff accountants who can assist with growth initiatives.”


CFOs in the East South Central3 region also anticipate above-average hiring activity. A net 6 percent of financial executives plan to bring in full-time accounting and finance employees during the quarter.


Robert Half has conducted additional CFO interviews in major metropolitan areas to provide more detailed analyses of financial hiring trends in these markets. The local results are available at


Accounting and Financial Hiring -- By Industry

Among industries, CFOs in construction are the most optimistic about hiring in the third quarter. Nine percent anticipate increasing staff levels and 1 percent foresee personnel reductions, a net 8 percent increase.


Hiring activity in manufacturing also is expected to outpace the national forecast, with a net 7 percent of financial executives anticipating bringing in new employees in the quarter. A net 6 percent of CFOs polled in both the retail and wholesale sectors indicated they plan to add accounting and finance professionals to their teams.


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 throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at


Financial Hiring Index Projections

Financial Hiring Index: Factors Driving Demand

Financial Hiring Index: By Region

Financial Hiring Index: By Industry

Financial Hiring Index: Two-Year History

Financial Hiring Index: Five-Year History

Financial Hiring Index: Local Market Projections

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

2 Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas

3 Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee


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