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CFOs Reveal Second-Quarter Hiring Plans
Robert Half Financial Hiring Index: Staffing Levels at Most Firms to Remain Unchanged; Business Confidence High

MENLO PARK, CA, Mar. 7, 2011 -- Most (85 percent) chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index said they expect to make no changes to their current staffing levels during the second quarter of 2011. Seven percent anticipate adding full-time accounting and finance professionals, while another 7 percent plan personnel reductions. The net 0 percent projection is down two points from the first-quarter 2011 forecast.

Eighty-nine percent of CFOs expressed confidence in their firms’ growth potential in the second quarter, up one point from the first-quarter survey.

The Robert Half Financial Hiring Index is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half International, the world’s first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. Robert Half has been tracking financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.


“While improved business conditions are prompting some companies to add staff to keep pace with demand, many firms are still hesitant to commit to new resources at this point in the recovery,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. “To maintain productivity and reduce the burden on their full-time teams, some organizations are hiring accounting and finance professionals on a project basis.”


Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Region

The Pacific(1) states are expected to see the most active hiring in the second quarter. Twelve percent of CFOs plan to add full-time accounting and finance professionals and 5 percent foresee cutbacks, a net 7 percent increase.


“Many Pacific-region companies, particularly those in the manufacturing and technology sectors, are rebuilding their teams to meet renewed demand for their products and services,” Messmer noted. “In particular, firms are looking for skilled financial analysts to help them control costs and prepare for potential growth.”


Above-average hiring activity also is predicted in the Middle Atlantic(2) region. Seven percent of CFOs there expect to add staff and 2 percent anticipate declines.


Accounting and Finance Hiring -- By Industry

Across the United States, financial executives in the wholesale industry are most likely to hire additional staff in the upcoming quarter. A net 10 percent of respondents from the sector plan to expand their finance teams.


About the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index

First published in 1992, the Robert Half Financial Hiring Index was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 1,400 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. For the study to be statistically representative and ensure that businesses from all segments were represented, the sample was stratified by geographic region and company size (by number of employees). The results were then weighted to reflect the proper proportions of company size within each region.


The Financial Hiring Index is conducted as part of the Robert Half Professional Employment Report, which tracks hiring trends among professional occupations. More information about the Professional Employment Report is available at


About Robert Half International

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 worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at     


Financial Hiring Index

Financial Hiring Index: By Region

Financial Hiring Index: By Industry

Financial Hiring Index: Two-Year History

Financial Hiring Index: Five-Year History

Financial Hiring Index: CFOs' Confidence


<(1) Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington

(2) New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania