Increased Hiring Projected for Finance Staff in First Quarter

Three Quarters of Employers Surveyed Confident in Growth Prospects

TORONTO, Dec. 1 /CNW/ - The employment outlook in accounting and finance shows some signs of growth, according to the Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index. Seven per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled expect to add staff and 5 per cent anticipate personnel reductions; 87 per cent of executives forecast no changes. The net 2 per cent increase is up five points from the fourth-quarter projection.

CFOs also expressed confidence in their companies' growth prospects. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents said they are "very confident" they will see business growth in the first quarter, while 46 per cent described themselves as "somewhat confident."

The Robert Half International 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.

Despite current unemployment levels, CFOs continue to report challenges finding highly skilled professionals for certain functional areas. Fifteen per cent of financial executives said accounting roles are the hardest to fill, and operational support and finance positions were each cited by 14 per cent or respondents.

    
    Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Industry
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Among industries, a net 12 per cent of transportation CFOs expect to increase hiring in the next three months. A net 5 per cent of executives in both the construction and business services sectors plan to add staff in the first quarter.

"Many companies continue to be cautious about hiring, but some executives are finding they need to bring on full-time or temporary staff to meet critical deadlines and business objectives," said Kathryn Bolt, president of Robert Half International's Canadian operations. "When hiring, employers are not only looking for professionals with strong functional expertise, but also the ability to communicate and build relationships among internal and external clients."

About the Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index

The Robert Half International 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.

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 360 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at www.roberthalf.ca.

SOURCE Robert Half International (Canada)

For further information: For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com

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Robert Half International (Canada)

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