Ninety-three percent of chief financial officers say they plan to maintain their current staff levels during the third quarter while only 3 percent of CFOs say they anticipate bringing in more accounting and finance employees, according to the most recent Robert Half Financial Hiring Index.
Another 4 percent of respondents say they plan to cut staff. While this hiring forecast is on the conservative side, 69 percent of respondents say they are experiencing a recruiting environment that is either somewhat or very challenging, an increase from 62 percent in the last quarter.
"The eurozone debt crisis as well as inconsistent economic indicators in the United States may be prompting companies to take a more measured approach to hiring," says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "While many companies are not expected to change the size of their staff in the immediate term, financial executives continue to report difficulty finding skilled talent in high-demand specialties. Positions in demand include financial analysts, senior and staff accountants, and business systems analysts."
The west south central region is believed to experience the most hiring in the third quarter as a net 1 percent of respondents from this region say they expect to hire full-time accounting and finance employees. Another 2 percent of respondents from this region plan on bringing in staff, and 1 percent anticipate work force cuts.
Among respondents in the south Atlantic states, 3 percent say they intend to hire while 3 percent say they anticipate staff reductions. Two percent of respondents from the west north central say they plan to hire, but 2 percent say they are predicting to cut staff.
The survey also finds that respondents working in the retail industry are believed to conduct the most hiring in the third quarter. In fact, 4 percent of respondents in retail say they expect to hire accounting and finance professionals as opposed to 2 percent who predict cutbacks.