CFOs See Improved Hiring Outlook for Fourth Quarter

Press release from the issuing company

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for theRobert Half Financial Hiring Indexforecast an increase in hiring during the fourth quarter of 2011.Twelve percentof executives anticipate adding full-time accounting and finance employees, while7 percentexpect staff reductions. The net5 percentof CFOs planning to hire is up four points from the third-quarter study and the highest projection in three years.

TheRobert Half Financial Hiring Index, part of the company's quarterlyProfessional Employment Report, is based on telephone interviews with 1,400 CFOs acrossthe 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 Halfhas been tracking financial hiring activity inthe United Statessince 1992.

"Though companies are still generally conservative in their hiring outlooks, many are expanding their accounting and finance departments and need professionals with the right skills to help them accommodate new growth opportunities," saidMax Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "Businesses also are adding staff in response to voluntary turnover as more employees are attracted by offers from other companies."

CFOs reported optimism about the overall outlook for their companies.Ninety-one percentof executives expressed at least some confidence in their firms' growth potential in the fourth quarter.Fifty-five percentof respondents said they are very confident, while36 percentreported being somewhat confident.

Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Region

The West South Centralregion is projected to see the most active financial hiring in the fourth quarter.Nineteen percentof executives interviewed from these states said they are planning to add full-time accounting and finance employees during this period.Four percentexpect to reduce staff, resulting in a net15 percentof CFOs in the region expecting personnel increases.

"West South Central firms, especially energy and manufacturing concerns, that are growing seek controllers, assistant controllers, and senior and staff accountants," Messmer commented. "Instances of top candidates receiving multiple employment offers are becoming more common in high-demand occupations."

Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Industry

On an industry level, executives in the professional services sector are most likely to hire in the fourth quarter.Fourteen percentof CFOs plan to add staff and5 percentexpect cutbacks.

CFOs in manufacturing also anticipate above average hiring activity. A net8 percentof executives in the industry forecast personnel increases.