By Amanda McGrory
Twenty percent of chief financial officers expect to hire full-time accounting and finance employees in the first quarter in the first quarter while 11 percent plan to reduce staff, according to the recent Robert Half Financial Hiring Index.
While hiring is expected to grow, companies are still having trouble finding job candidates with the right skills to fill many key roles. In fact, 68 percent of respondents report having recruiting challenges, a jump from 59 percent in the fourth quarter and 41 percent in the third quarter.
"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," says 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."
The survey predicts the mountain and New England regions to experience the most active hiring in the first quarter. Of the respondents from these regions, a net 16 percent say they plan to hire full-time accounting and finance employees.
"In the Mountain region, businesses – small- to mid-size organizations, in particular – are having difficulty finding in-demand professionals, such as financial analysts and controllers," Messmer says. "In the New England area, professional services, construction and biotech companies also seek financial analysts as well as internal auditors."
Respondents in the transportation and construction industries believe the most hiring activity will happen during the first quarter, and a net 18 percent of respondents in all industries say they expect to add staff.
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com