Report Finds Hiring and Retaining Skilled Professionals Still
MENLO PARK, CA — A shortage of experienced accounting and finance
professionals continues to affect employers around the world, according to the
second annual Robert Half Global Financial Employment Monitor. For the
second consecutive year, more than half (56 percent) of the
finance and human resources managers surveyed worldwide reported difficulty
finding skilled job candidates. The report also found that retention concerns
have risen significantly in the last year: 58 percent of
respondents worldwide and 73 percent of respondents in the
United States expressed concern about losing their top performers to other job
opportunities, up from 43 percent and 46
percent, respectively, in 2007.
The global 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 4,000 finance and human resources managers in 20 countries. The
overall margin of error is +/- 1.5 percent, and the results are within 95
“The results of this year’s report reflect the challenges hiring managers
around the world continue to face in locating and retaining highly skilled
accounting and finance professionals,” said Greg Scileppi, director of
international operations for Robert Half International. “The perennial need for
strong financial functions is fueling competition for the best candidates and
prompting companies to develop more effective strategies to prevent the loss of
their most valued employees.”
The report indicates employers worldwide are spending significant time and
effort interviewing job candidates in an effort to ensure a successful hire.
Respondents said they are holding an average of three interviews per candidate
before filling staff-level positions, compared to only two interviews last year.
Employers also reported using project professionals more often, and at more
senior levels, than during the last three years.
In addition, the Global Financial Employment Monitor revealed a
dramatic shift in the most sought-after attributes of executive-level job
candidates. Hiring managers surveyed from the United States said industry
knowledge and experience was the most important attribute — a trend reported in
16 of 20 countries surveyed. This reflects a marked change from last year’s
report, in which regulatory compliance expertise was the leading response.
“The global demand for executives with deep industry expertise represents a
renewed emphasis on fundamental competitive performance,” added Scileppi. “As
regulatory compliance efforts have become better established, firms are
returning their focus to maintaining an edge within their industries and seeking
leaders who can help them do so.”