Mountain, West South Central Regions Forecast Greatest Increases

MENLO PARK, CA — Financial executives expect to continue hiring accounting
and finance professionals in the third quarter, according to the Robert Half
Financial Hiring Index
, although at a more moderate rate than during the
second quarter.  Six percent of chief financial officers (CFOs)
surveyed anticipate adding employees and 3 percent forecast
personnel cutbacks.  Ninety percent of those polled foresee no
change in staff levels.  Respondents cited rising workloads as the primary
driver of hiring.

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 has been tracking
financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.

“Companies have become more strategic in their hiring efforts and are looking
for individuals who combine strong technical expertise with outstanding
communication skills,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half
International.  “Once solid candidates are identified, employers are moving
quickly to bring them on board.”

Messmer added, “The demand for skilled accounting and finance professionals
remains strong, and firms must find ways to differentiate themselves — from
providing higher compensation and better benefits to enhancing the work
environment — to attract top performers.”

Accounting and Financial
Hiring — By Region

The Mountain1 and West
South Central2 states
forecast the greatest gains in hiring.  In each region, 10
of financial executives said they plan to add staff and
1 percent expect reductions in personnel, a net 9

“The tight labor market in the Mountain states is causing many organizations
to offer higher salaries and additional perks to secure financial talent,” said

“In the West South Central, hiring is being led by the manufacturing and oil
and gas industries,” added Messmer.  “In particular, businesses need staff
accountants who can assist with growth initiatives.”

CFOs in the East South Central3 region also anticipate above-average hiring
activity.  A net 6 percent of financial executives plan to
bring in full-time accounting and finance employees during the quarter.

Robert Half 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

and Financial Hiring — By Industry

Among industries, CFOs in construction are the most optimistic about hiring
in the third quarter.  Nine percent anticipate increasing staff
levels and 1 percent foresee personnel reductions, a net
8 percent increase.

Hiring activity in manufacturing also is expected to outpace the national
forecast, with a net 7 percent of financial executives
anticipating bringing in new employees in the quarter.  A net 6
of CFOs polled in both the retail and wholesale sectors
indicated they plan to add accounting and finance professionals to their

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 350
staffing locations throughout North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region,
and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which
can be accessed at

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