CFOs REPORT ON FIRST-QUARTER HIRING PLANS

Majority of Companies Expect No Change in Accounting and Finance Staff Levels

TORONTO, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - A net 2 per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index predict decreases in accounting and finance personnel in the first quarter of 2011, with most (83 per cent) executives expecting to maintain current staff levels for the next three months. Five per cent of respondents indicated they plan to add full-time employees and 7 per cent anticipate staff reductions.

The Robert Half Financial Hiring Index is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs across Canada. 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 Canada since 1992.

"Many businesses continue to take a cautious approach to hiring, waiting for more definitive signs of economic improvement," said Kathryn Bolt, president of Robert Half International's Canadian operations. "Some companies, on the other hand, are selectively adding staff, either on a full-time or temporary basis, to prepare for emerging opportunities in the new year."

Even with current unemployment rates, however, finding finance professionals with the requisite expertise has become increasingly difficult. Forty-eight per cent of respondents indicated it is challenging for them to locate skilled professionals today, a 14-point increase from the fourth quarter 2010 report.

Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Industry

Across Canada, financial executives in the finance, insurance and real estate industry are most likely to hire additional staff in the upcoming quarter. Thirty-two per cent of industry CFOs plan to expand their teams and 18 per cent expect staff reductions.

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 270 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of Canadian 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 www.roberthalf.ca/per.

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 www.roberthalf.com.

SOURCE Robert Half International (Canada)

For further information: For further information: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, nadia.santoli@rhi.com

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Robert Half International (Canada)

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