CFOs Expect Financial Hiring to Increase in First Quarter

Robert Half Financial Hiring Index: Recruiting Difficulties Rise

MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Looking toward the new year, chief financial officers (CFOs) expect the financial hiring outlook to improve in the first quarter. Twenty percent of executives interviewed for the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index said they plan to add full-time accounting and finance employees, while 11 percent forecast staff decreases. The resulting net 9 percent increase is up four points from the fourth-quarter survey and represents the third consecutive quarter of sequential growth.

Although hiring plans may be on the upswing, companies are facing difficulties finding professionals with the right skills to fill a number of key roles. Sixty-eight percent of executives reported recruiting challenges, up from 59 percent in the fourth quarter and 41 percent in the third quarter.

The Robert Half Financial Hiring Index, part of the company's quarterly Professional Employment Report, is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half International, the world's first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. Robert Half has been tracking financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.

"Competition for the best employees is intensifying, and, at the same time, these professionals are beginning to feel increasingly comfortable exploring new roles at other firms," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "Businesses are still selective when hiring but understand they need to move quickly once the right candidate is identified."


View the research highlights.


Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Region

The Mountain[1] and New England[2] regions are projected to see the most active hiring in the first quarter. A net 16 percent of executives interviewed in each of these parts of the country said they are planning to hire full-time accounting and finance employees.

"In the Mountain region, businesses -- small-to-midsize organizations, in particular -- are having difficulty finding in-demand professionals, such as financial analysts and controllers," Messmer commented. "In the New England area, professional services, construction and biotech companies also seek financial analysts, as well as internal auditors."


Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Industry

Executives in the transportation and construction sectors anticipate the most hiring activity in the first quarter, according to the survey. A net 18 percent of CFOs in each industry said they plan to add staff.


About the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index

First published in 1992, the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index 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 businesses from all segments were represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and company size (by number of employees). The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of company size within each region.

The Financial Hiring Index is conducted as part of the Robert Half Professional Employment Report, which tracks hiring trends among professional occupations. More information about the Professional Employment Report is available at


About Robert Half International

Robert Half International 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 worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at

Financial Hiring: By Region

Percentage... Increase Decrease No Change Undecided Total
United States 20 11 69 0 100
New England 22 6 72 0 100
Middle Atlantic 14 18 68 0 100
South Atlantic 23 8 68 1 100
East N. Central 17 13 70 0 100
West N. Central 24 10 64 2 100
East S. Central 22 12 63 1 100
West S. Central 21 9 70 0 100
Mountain 25 9 65 1 100
Pacific 17 8 75 0 100

New England: CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT; Middle Atlantic: NJ, NY, PA; South Atlantic: DE, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV; East North Central: IL, IN, MI, OH, WI; West North Central: IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD; East South Central: AL, KY, MS, TN; West South Central: AR, LA, OK, TX; Mountain: AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY; Pacific: AK, CA, HI, OR, WA


Financial Hiring: By Industry

Percentage... Increase Decrease No Change Undecided Total
United States 20 11 69 0 100
Manufacturing 17 15 66 2 100
Retail 14 12 74 0 100
Fin., Ins. & R. Estate 27 13 60 0 100
Prof. Services 22 11 67 0 100
Construction 21 3 76 0 100
Wholesale 14 7 77 2 100
Transportation 32 14 54 0 100
Bus. Services 20 12 68 0 100


Comparative Data: Two-Year History of the Financial Hiring Index

Quarter Percent Increase Percent Decrease Net Increase
1Q12 20 11 9
4Q11 12 7 5
3Q11 7 6 1
2Q11 7 7 0
1Q11 8 6 2
4Q10 8 7 1
3Q10 6 9 -3
2Q10 7 8 -1
1Q10 6 9 -3


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

[2] Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont


SOURCE Robert Half International Inc.

print Print   email E-mail   rss RSS