Global Talent Crunch for Accounting and Finance Professionals

    Report Highlights International Skills Shortage, Retention Concerns

    TORONTO, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - Employers around the world continue to feel the
effects of a shortage of accounting and finance professionals, according to
the recently released Robert Half International Global Financial Employment
Monitor. More than half of the finance and human resources managers surveyed -
56 per cent - reported difficulty finding skilled job candidates, and
43 per cent expressed concern about losing top performers to other job
opportunities. The situation is most severe in Asia, where more than four out
of five respondents from both Japan (83 per cent) and Hong Kong (82 per cent)
reported finding skilled financial professionals was a challenge.
    The international study was developed by Robert Half International, the
world's first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting
and finance, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey
includes responses from more than 5,000 finance and human resources managers
in 17 countries throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
The overall margin of error is +/- 1.4 per cent, and the results are within
95 per cent certainty.
    The report indicates widespread difficulty finding skilled candidates and
significant time and effort spent on interviewing and hiring. Currently,
companies around the globe are spending an average of five weeks to fill
staff-level accounting and finance positions and eight weeks for management
    "Recruiting and retaining top financial professionals may become more
challenging in the years ahead due to increasing demand for this expertise and
the potential retirement of millions of baby boomers around the world," said
Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "To build
effective teams, employers will need to offer attractive compensation
packages, as well as programs that support professional development and
work-life balance."
    When asked to identify the most sought-after attribute for executives,
respondents in nearly every country said experience in compliance was needed
most. This underscores the increased international emphasis on corporate
    Managers in Canada reported the greatest difficulty hiring operational
support personnel. In response, many companies are moving quickly to secure
these candidates. For open staff-level positions, Canadian respondents said
their firms are taking five weeks to hire candidates, which is on par with the
global average. For management roles, Canadian respondents said their firms
are taking six weeks on average to fill open positions, two weeks less than
the global average of eight weeks.
    The Global Financial Employment Monitor analyzes current hiring trends in
accounting and finance, including topics such as the challenge of finding
skilled talent, the time it takes to fill staff and management positions,
in-demand executive-level attributes, and employee retention concerns.

    Robert Half International has more than 350 staffing locations in North
America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. For more
information about the company, visit

    NOTE TO EDITORS: For a copy of the Global Financial Employment Monitor or
    to schedule an interview for local commentary in Toronto, Calgary,
    Edmonton or Vancouver, please contact Jason Chapman at or (416) 350-2330 extension 62070.

For further information:

For further information: Jason Chapman, (416) 350-2330,

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Robert Half Finance & Accounting

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