Executives Reveal Fourth-Quarter Hiring Plans for Professional-Level Roles

Survey: Recruiting Challenges Persist; Active Hiring Expected in Marketing Field

TORONTO, Sept. 7 /CNW/ - Seventeen per cent of executives interviewed for the Robert Half Professional Employment Report (http://www.roberthalf.ca/per) said they are planning to hire professional-level staff in the fourth quarter of 2011, while 2 per cent foresee personnel cutbacks. The resulting net 15 per cent increase in hiring activity is up one point from the third-quarter forecast. The portion (75 per cent) of hiring executives saying they anticipate no change in staff levels is down from 80 per cent three months ago.

Meanwhile, 48 per cent of executives interviewed for the report(1) said it is challenging to find skilled professionals today, unchanged from the third quarter.

Fourth-quarter hiring projections were higher than the third-quarter forecast in nearly all professional segments.

The Robert Half Professional Employment Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 C-level executives and other leaders from a variety of fields throughout Canada, who are asked about their hiring plans and general level of optimism for the upcoming quarter. Survey respondents include more than 270 chief financial officers (CFOs); 270 chief information officers (CIOs); 150 senior human resources managers; 75 lawyers at law firms and 75 corporate lawyers; and 50 advertising executives and 200 marketing executives, all of whom have hiring authority. The Robert Half Professional Employment Report is the first quarterly executive survey of its size and scope to concentrate exclusively on professional-level hiring.

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    Key Findings

    -  A net 15 per cent of executives plan to add professional-level staff
       in the fourth quarter of 2011.
    -  Forty-eight per cent of survey respondents reported encountering
       recruiting challenges, unchanged from the third quarter.
    -  The marketing field is expected to see strong hiring activity, with a
       net 26 per cent of marketing and advertising executives planning to
       increase staff levels.
    -  A net 29 per cent of executives in the finance, insurance and real
       estate sector anticipate staff additions, the most of any industry.
    -  Forty-one per cent of executives said they are "very confident" in
       their organisations' ability to grow in the fourth quarter, and 46 per
       cent said they are "somewhat confident."

                     Hiring Expectations -- By Profession
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Increase   Decrease   Net Increase
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                             17%         2%          15%
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Accounting and finance            13%         5%           8%
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Advertising and marketing         27%         1%          26%
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Human resources                   11%         0%          11%
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Information technology            24%         2%          22%
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Legal                             44%         1%          43%
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sales and business development    25%         1%          24%
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>

General business confidence remains strong among all professional segments in the survey. Forty-one per cent of executives indicated they are "very confident" in their companies' ability to grow in the fourth quarter, while 46 per cent said they are "somewhat confident."

"Companies are hiring skilled professionals to assist in supporting their organisations' growth initiatives and enhancing overall client service," said Kathryn Bolt, district president of Robert Half Canada. "An increase in business activity, in particular, is prompting hiring in the financial services, insurance and real estate industry, where it has become more common for the strongest candidates to receive multiple employment offers."

Professional-Level Hiring -- By Industry

Fourth-quarter professional-level hiring is anticipated to be strongest in the finance, insurance and real estate sector, where a net 29 per cent of respondents said they expect to make staff additions. A net 24 per cent of executives in the retail industry also indicated they will hire during the quarter.

Professional-Level Hiring -- By Field

Respondents in the marketing and advertising field continue to forecast strong hiring. Twenty-seven per cent of executives anticipate hiring marketing professionals in the fourth quarter and 1 per cent expect declines. The net 26 per cent projected increase is up five points from the previous quarter.

About Robert Half International

Founded in 1948, Robert Half International, the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, is a recognized leader in professional staffing services. The company's specialized staffing divisions include Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam, for highly skilled temporary administrative support personnel; Robert Half Technology, for information technology professionals; Robert Half Legal, for legal personnel; and The Creative Group, for interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals. Robert Half International has staffing and consulting operations in more than 400 locations worldwide. Find more information at www.roberthalf.ca, and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/RobertHalf_CAN.

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(1) Respondents to this question included a total of more than 900 chief financial officers (CFOs), chief information officers (CIOs), lawyers, and advertising and marketing executives.

SOURCE Robert Half International (Canada)

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

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Robert Half International (Canada)

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