New Quarterly Employment Report Tracks Hiring in Professional Occupations

Survey: Executives Express Confidence in Business Growth; Nearly Half Report Recruiting Difficulties

TORONTO, March 8 /CNW/ - Job prospects for Canadian professionals may be brighter in the next quarter, a new survey suggests. Eighteen per cent of executives interviewed for The Robert Half Professional Employment Report said they plan to increase the number of full-time employees in professional occupations in the second quarter, and 3 per cent anticipate declines. The result is a net 15 per cent of respondents who plan to add staff in the coming three months. Eighty-six per cent of executives interviewed expressed confidence in their companies' prospects for growth in the next quarter.

The Robert Half Professional Employment Report is a quarterly survey of executives that focuses exclusively on professional-level hiring. The survey is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 executives in Canada about their hiring plans for the upcoming quarter. Among the respondents are chief financial officers (CFOs), chief information officers (CIOs), senior human resources (HR) managers, lawyers, and advertising and marketing executives. Respondents offered their views on hiring plans within their respective fields and the challenge of finding skilled professionals. The survey also measures executives' confidence in their companies' prospects for growth in the second quarter of 2010. Robert Half has been reporting employment data through its Hiring Index program since 1992. For additional information, please visit www.roberthalf.ca/per.

    
    Key Findings
    ------------
    -   A net 15 per cent of executives plan to increase hiring in
        professional occupations, such as accounting, finance and information
        technology (IT), in the second quarter of 2010.
    -   Eighty-six per cent of executives polled said they are confident in
        their companies' prospects for growth in the second quarter.
    -   Executives in the finance, insurance and real estate and
        transportation industries plan to do the most hiring of professional
        staff, with a net 33 per cent of respondents from each sector
        projecting hiring increases.
    -   Nearly half of executives (48 per cent)(1) said it is challenging to
        find skilled professionals today.
    

"The job market is showing steady signs of recovery and companies are looking to add staff to manage critical projects and capitalize on growth opportunities," said Kathryn Bolt, president of Robert Half International's Canadian operations. "Professionals in business-critical occupations are required to manage key operations and will be in demand as the economy improves."

    
    Professional-Level Hiring -- By Industry
    ----------------------------------------
    

Executives in the finance, insurance and real estate sector, and the transportation industry, expect the most active hiring of professional-level staff, with a net 33 per cent within each category projecting increases in personnel levels.

"The financial services and real estate sectors are showing promising signs for continued growth and will need to add staff, including accounting, IT and marketing professionals, to manage increased activity," said Bolt. "Compliance managers and financial reporting specialists are in particular demand to ensure firms remain compliant with new government regulations."

    
                                     Increase    Decrease
    Transportation                      34           1
    Finance, Insurance & Real Estate    33           0
    Wholesale                           24           1
    Professional Services               22           1
    Manufacturing                       18          12
    Business Services                   14           6
    Retail                              13           1
    Construction                         7           0

    Confidence Levels
    -----------------
    

When asked how confident they are in their companies' prospects for growth in the next three months, 85 per cent of executives said they were either very confident or somewhat confident. In addition, nearly half of respondents (48 per cent) indicated that recruiting skilled professionals poses a challenge.

"The unemployment rate for professional occupations remains well below the national average and many companies report challenges finding skilled professionals to fill niche requirements", added Bolt. "However, some firms still uncertain about the long-term outlook, are turning to temporary or project professionals to support growing customer demand while they determine their personnel needs."

    
    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(R), Robert Half(R) Finance & Accounting and Robert Half(R) Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam(R), for highly skilled temporary administrative support personnel; Robert Half(R) Technology, for information technology professionals; Robert Half(R) Legal, for legal personnel; and The Creative Group(R), for advertising, marketing and web design professionals. Robert Half International has staffing and consulting operations in more than 365 locations worldwide. Find more information at www.roberthalf.ca, and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/roberthalf.

    
    -----------
    (1) Respondents to this question included a total of more than 890 CFOs,
        CIOs, lawyers, and advertising and marketing executives.
    

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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