The Quest for Talent

Recruiting Remains Executives’ Top Concern, Survey Shows
Recruiting experienced professionals remains a concern for many
companies, a nationwide survey shows. One in five (20%) chief financial
officers (CFOs) polled recently said finding skilled staff will be
their greatest challenge in the next 12 months, up three points from a
similar poll in 2003. Meeting customer needs was the second biggest
concern, cited by 16% of respondents.

CFOs
were asked, "Which one of the following is the biggest challenge facing
your company in the next 12 months?" Their responses:

Response 2008 2003
Finding skilled staff 20% 17%
Meeting customer demands 16% 12%
Government regulation 15% 20%
Competition 14% 18%
Adequate sales and/or financing 12% 19%
None of these/other 17% 8%
Don’t know/no answer 6% 6%

"With
the national unemployment rate for college-educated professionals
approximately half that of the general population, competition for
skilled financial talent remains strong," said Paul McDonald, executive
director of Robert Half Management Resources. "To attract top
performers, businesses are making recruiting a year-round priority."

McDonald
cautions, however, against automatically filling an open position
without first evaluating strategic personnel requirements. "By
conducting an in-depth workload analysis, hiring managers can determine
if there is an ongoing need that requires a full-time employee or if
the work could more efficiently be performed by an interim professional
or outsourced to an accounting or consulting firm."

The
survey also revealed a decrease in the number of CFOs who saw
government regulation as their biggest challenge. "Now that the initial
requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have been met, corporate
governance policies are more established, and the focus is on
repeatable processes that ensure internal control over financial
reporting," said McDonald.

Source: Robert Half Management Resources

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