CFOs PROJECT SLIGHT HIRING INCREASE IN SECOND QUARTER

Corporate Growth Primary Factor Driving Hiring, Survey Shows

MENLO PARK, CA, March 8, 2006-- Hiring activity in accounting and finance is expected to pick up slightly in the second quarter, according to the most recent Robert Half Financial Hiring Index.  Five percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed plan to add staff and 4 percent anticipate personnel reductions.  The net 1 percent increase is up one point from the first-quarter forecast.  Eighty-nine percent of respondents project no change in employment levels.

 

Among executives expecting to hire, 55 percent cited business growth as the primary factor fueling the demand.  Seventeen percent of those polled attributed the need for additional staff to rising workloads.

 

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.

“Many of the companies that are hiring are doing so to accommodate business expansion activities during 2006,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half.  “Firms also are adding full-time staff and working with consulting professionals for corporate governance-related compliance and remediation initiatives.”

 

Accounting and Financial Hiring -- By Region

Executives in the Mountain region[1] anticipate the greatest hiring activity in the second quarter.  Thirteen percent of CFOs polled expect to add full-time accounting employees while
1 percent foresee decreases in staff levels, a net 12 percent increase.

 

“Companies in the Mountain region are hiring experienced accountants to assist with growth initiatives,” said Messmer.  “There are skills shortages within some in-demand specialties.  To ensure they secure commitments from top financial professionals, many employers are accelerating the recruiting process and offering more competitive salary and benefits packages.”

 

Hiring in the Middle Atlantic[2] and South Atlantic[3] states also is projected to outpace the national forecast.  A net 3 percent of CFOs in each region expect to bring additional accounting professionals on board 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 www.roberthalf.com/PressRoom.

 

Accounting and Financial Hiring -- By Industry

Among industries, construction is forecast to experience the greatest gains in financial hiring, with a net 7 percent of executives expecting to add full-time staff.  Projections for the transportation and retail sectors also are above the national average, with a net 6 percent and 4 percent of executives, respectively, planning to hire accounting personnel in 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 330 offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at www.roberthalf.com.

 

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

[2] New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania

[3] Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia


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