Pacific Region Expected to See Greatest Gains in Financial Hiring

MENLO PARK, CA — Hiring activity within accounting and finance is projected to remain steady into the fourth quarter, according to the quarterly Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index.  Six percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed plan to add full-time personnel and 2 percent anticipate reducing staff levels.  The net 4 percent increase is unchanged from the third-quarter forecast.

Among executives expecting to expand their accounting and finance teams, 46 percent cited business growth as the primary reason.  Twenty-seven percent of those polled said rising workloads are fueling hiring demand.

The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.  It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half International, the world’s largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting, finance and information technology.  Robert Half International has been tracking financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.

“Demand is steady for highly skilled accounting and finance professionals,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International.  “Employers are willing to accelerate the recruiting process and offer premium compensation to avoid losing the most qualified individuals to competing job offers.”

Accounting and Financial Hiring — By Region

For the second consecutive quarter, the Pacific region1 leads the nation in projected hiring activity.  Eight percent of executives anticipate adding full-time accounting and finance staff and 1 percent foresee a decrease in personnel, a net 7 percent increase in hiring activity.

“Initiatives related to business growth and corporate governance compliance are fueling hiring among companies in the Pacific states,” Messmer said.  “The continuing demand for top accounting talent has contributed to a dearth of skilled candidates in some functional areas, particularly for positions such as financial analyst and staff and senior accountant.”

The Mountain states2 also are expected to see above-average hiring activity.  A net 6 percent of CFOs in this region plan to add personnel in the fourth quarter.

Robert Half International has conducted additional CFO interviews in major metropolitan areas to provide more detailed analyses of financial hiring trends in these markets.  The local results are available at

Accounting and Financial Hiring — By Industry

CFOs of transportation firms are most optimistic about hiring plans for the coming quarter.  Fifteen percent of financial executives from this sector anticipate expanding their accounting and finance teams and none forecast staff reductions.

Hiring in the finance, insurance and real estate industry is projected to outpace the national average as well.  A net 8 percent of CFOs in this sector anticipate bringing in additional full-time accounting and finance professionals in the fourth quarter.

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