TIME NOT ON YOUR SIDE

Survey: Executives Say It Takes a Month or More to Fill Accounting Positions

MENLO PARK, CA, April 6 -- For already-stretched accounting departments, waiting a month for help may seem like an eternity. Yet, a recent survey found it can take at least that long for employers to hire for open positions. Chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said it takes an average of four weeks to fill a staff-level role and five weeks to bring a new manager on board.

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, "On average, how many weeks does it typically take to hire for an open staff-level accounting or finance position?" The mean response was four weeks.

CFOs also were asked, "On average, how many weeks does it typically take to hire for an open management-level accounting or finance position?" The mean response was five weeks.

"Even in this cautious hiring environment, managers need to focus on their staff levels," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "Operating with a team that's too lean could cause firms to lose out on future business opportunities and lead to employee burnout."

According to Messmer, having a nimble hiring process in place is critical to securing top employees. "Professionals with in-demand skills always have options, and firms that don't move quickly to secure these individuals risk losing their top choices to other opportunities."

Robert Half Finance & Accounting offers managers four tips to make the hiring process as efficient as possible:

  1. Stay front and center. Don't delegate the hiring process. You know best what you want in an employee. Avoid delays or, worse, potential hiring mistakes by remaining closely involved in the process from beginning to end.
  2. Stick to the game plan. Before resumes start coming in, develop a method for evaluating them consistently. Using the job description as a base, make note of key criteria you're looking for from applicants, and search for those same attributes in each resume you receive.
  3. Get help. Specialized recruiters can help you pinpoint your needs. And their networks provide access to people you might not locate on your own, including professionals who may not be actively looking but would make a change for the right opportunity.
  4. Don't delay. When you identify strong applicants, don't procrastinate. Top performers are in demand in any market. By moving too slowly, you risk losing your first choice -- and extending the hiring process.

About the Survey
The national study was developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting. 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 number of employees. The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportion of employees within each region.

About Robert Half Finance & Accounting
Founded in 1948, Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half, has more than 365 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalf.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/roberthalffa.


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