Financial executives’ plans for hiring this year have remained steady and fairly flat. They will be hiring finance and accounting professionals at a slightly more moderate rate in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, according to a recent survey.
To be sure, most CFOs don’t plan to make any new hires in the third quarter. In fact, according to the Robert Half International survey, 90 percent don’t expect any change in their staff levels. Six percent of the 1,400 respondents predict they will add employees, and 3 percent expect to make personnel cuts.
The results have been consistent for the past five years. A half-decade ago, demand for finance expertise rose when the Sarbanes-Oxley Act became law, notes Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources.
Across the country, CFOs are struggling with finding qualified finance and accounting help, according to the firm. “The number of people graduating from universities with accounting degrees has increased but not to the level we need it to,” McDonald says. “The supply coming out of campuses has not kept up with demand. We don’t see the demand abating.”
Breaking demand down by region, the Half researchers shows a greater, more immediate need for finance help in certain locations. CFOs in the Mountain states and areas in the West South Central part of the country expect to boost their staffs by 9 percent. Robert Half International attributes its prediction to a tight labor market for employers in the Mountain states, where companies are having to pay higher salaries to acquire top talent. The firm says growth in the manufacturing and oil and gas industries is fueling the need for new hires in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. And in the East South Central states, 6 percent of CFOs plan to add finance full-timers.
Hiring for finance and accounting help will be strong in the construction, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail industries, Robert Half also notes.