CFOs report on first-quarter 2008 financial hiring outlook

    TORONTO, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - Five per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs)
plan to add accounting and finance staff during the first quarter of 2008 and
5 per cent anticipate personnel reductions, according to the Robert Half
International Financial Hiring Index. The majority of respondents, 80 per
cent, foresee no change in hiring activity.
    Forty-five per cent of CFOs who expect hiring increases cited rising
workloads as the primary reason, while 26 per cent attributed the demand to
anticipated business expansion.
    The report is based on interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a
stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees. 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.
    "The heightened competition for skilled finance and accounting
professionals has led many employers to re-evaluate their hiring processes to
ensure they are able to source and recruit top candidates quickly," said David
King, executive vice-president with Robert Half International. "Many companies
are enhancing salaries in response to the increased demand for talent,
especially for payroll professionals, internal auditors and public

    Accounting and Financial Hiring - By Industry
    Among all industries, executives in the finance, insurance and real
estate sector are most optimistic about hiring. A net 7 per cent of CFOs from
the finance, insurance and real estate sector expect to hire additional staff
in the first quarter.
    Above-average hiring activity is also expected in the professional
services industry; 6 per cent of executives said they plan to hire additional
personnel, while none foresee staff reductions.

    Robert Half International was founded in 1948 and is traded on the New
York Stock Exchange. Its financial 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.
The company has more than 350 staffing locations in North America, South
America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search
services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at

    Also available: First-quarter technology hiring index.

    Financial Hiring: By Industry

    Percentage...      Increase    Decrease   No Change   Undecided    Total

    Canada                5           5          80          10         100

    Manufacturing         6           7          86           1         100

    Retail                0           1          69          30         100

    Fin., Ins. &
     R. Estate           22          14          51          13         100

    Prof. Services        6           0          94           0         100

    Construction          6           1          71          22         100

    Wholesale             0          26          70           4         100

    Transportation        7           1          90           2         100

    Bus. Services         2          14          70          14         100

    Comparative Data: Two-Year History of the Financial Hiring Index

    Quarter       Percent Increase   Percent Decrease   Net Increase

    1Q08                  5                 5                 0

    4Q07                 19                 5                14

    3Q07                 12                 8                 4

    2Q07                 17                 3                14

    1Q07                  5                 3                 2

    4Q06                  4                 1                 3

    3Q06                  6                 0                 6

    2Q06                  5                 2                 3

    1Q06                 12                 4                 8


For further information:

For further information: To schedule an interview for local commentary
in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton or Vancouver, please contact
Jason Chapman at (416) 350-2330, extension 62070

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