The Robert Half Financial Hiring Index is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States who are asked whether their companies plan to increase or decrease the number of full-time accounting or financial personnel on their staff during the coming quarter. The survey is 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.
"To keep up with increased business stemming from an improving economy, companies are adding accounting and finance staff on both a full-time and temporary basis," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "While gains in full-time hiring are modest, employers face competition for skilled finance professionals. For some in-demand positions, such as financial analysts and senior accountants, a shortage of skilled candidates has developed."
Accounting and Finance Hiring - By Region
The South Atlantic and West South Central regions are projected to see the most active hiring in the third quarter, with a net 6 percent of CFOs in each location expecting to add full-time personnel. In the South Atlantic states, 10 percent of executives plan to hire and 4 percent project the size of their staff to decline. In the West South Central United States, 9 percent of CFOs anticipate adding employees and 3 percent foresee personnel reductions.
"Companies in the South Atlantic region that had heavily downsized their accounting and finance functions are now looking for staff accountants, senior accountants and financial analysts," Messmer noted. "In the West South Central states, CFOs in the energy and manufacturing sectors, in particular, have a need for controllers, assistant controllers and financial analysts."
Accounting and Finance Hiring - By Industry
Nationally, CFOs in the wholesale sector are most optimistic about their hiring plans for the third quarter, with a net 9 percent of financial executives anticipating personnel increases. Eleven percent plan to expand their teams and 2 percent expect to reduce staff levels.