Report Highlights International Skills Shortage, Retention Concerns


MENLO PARK, CA — 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 percent — reported difficulty finding skilled job
candidates, and 43 percent 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
) and Hong Kong (82 percent) 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 percent, and the results are within 95
percent 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 the United States reported the greatest difficulty hiring for
executive positions.  In response, companies are moving quickly to secure these
candidates: U.S. respondents said their firms are taking six weeks to hire for
management positions, two weeks less than the global average.

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

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