THE QUEST FOR TALENT

Recruiting Remains Executives' Top Concern, Survey Shows

MENLO PARK, CA -- Recruiting experienced professionals remains a concern for many companies, a nationwide survey shows. One in five (20 percent) chief financial officers (CFOs) polled recently said finding skilled staff will be their greatest challenge in the next 12 months, up three points from a similar poll in 2003. Meeting customer needs was the second biggest concern, cited by 16 percent of respondents.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world’s premier provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, “Which one of the following is the biggest challenge facing your company in the next 12 months?” Their responses:

   

2008

  2003
Finding skilled staff  

20%

  17%
Meeting customer demands  

16%

  12%
Government regulation  

15%

  20%
Competition  

14%

  18%
Adequate sales and/or financing  

12%

  19%
None of these/other  

17%

  8%
Don't know/no answer  

   6%

     6%
    100%   100%

“With the national unemployment rate for college-educated professionals approximately half that of the general population, competition for skilled financial talent remains strong,” said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “To attract top performers, businesses are making recruiting a year-round priority.”

McDonald cautions, however, against automatically filling an open position without first evaluating strategic personnel requirements. “By conducting an in-depth workload analysis, hiring managers can determine if there is an ongoing need that requires a full-time employee or if the work could more efficiently be performed by an interim professional or outsourced to an accounting or consulting firm.”

The survey also revealed a decrease in the number of CFOs who saw government regulation as their biggest challenge. “Now that the initial requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have been met, corporate governance policies are more established, and the focus is on repeatable processes that ensure internal control over financial reporting,” said McDonald.

Robert Half Management Resources has more than 140 offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com.

 

 

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