Greatest Activity Forecast In South Atlantic Region

MENLO PARK, CA -- Chief financial officers (CFOs) expect increased hiring activity in the second quarter, according to the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index. Seven percent of executives polled anticipate bringing in full-time employees and 2 percent plan reductions in personnel. The net 5 percent increase is up two points from the first-quarter forecast.

Fifty-five percent of CFOs who will be hiring said business growth is the driver.

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 are eager to take advantage of new business opportunities,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half.  “Corporate growth, combined with the ongoing need to address regulatory and governance mandates, is resulting in demand for accounting and finance staff.”

Messmer added, “Talent shortages are affecting a growing number of specialty areas within accounting and finance. Reflecting the competitive market for these professionals, candidates often receive counteroffers when they announce plans to leave their current firms.”

Accounting and Financial Hiring -- By Region
Hiring is projected to be strongest in the South Atlantic1 states. A net 9 percent of CFOs in this region expect to add accounting and finance employees in the coming quarter. Ten percent of respondents said they plan to bring in staff and 1 percent anticipate reductions.

“Fueled by growth in the professional services, finance and construction sectors, hiring in the South Atlantic is accelerating,” said Messmer. “Internal auditors are sought for compliance projects, and tax accountants are in demand as companies bring more tax work in-house.”

Hiring in the Mountain2 and Middle Atlantic3 states also is forecast to exceed the national average. Respectively, a net 8 percent and net 7 percent of financial executives in these regions plan to add staff in the second 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, executives in the wholesale sector are most optimistic about hiring.
Twelve percent of CFOs in this industry anticipate bringing in full-time accounting and finance employees in the second quarter and none expect to reduce personnel levels.

Hiring activity in manufacturing is expected to outpace national projections as well; a net
8 percent of respondents from this sector plan to expand their teams. Construction also is forecast to see above-average hiring activity, with a net 7 percent of executives anticipating staff additions during the second quarter.

Robert Half was founded in 1948 and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Its financial staffing divisions include Robert Half® Finance & Accounting, Accountemps® and Robert Half® Management Resources, for full-time, temporary 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

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