Eight percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said they plan to hire full-time accounting and finance employees during the fourth quarter, while 7% expect staff reductions. The net 1% increase in hiring activity is the first net increase since the first quarter of 2009, Robert Half said in a press release.
Most CFOs, 84%, expect no changes to their personnel levels.
Business confidence is strong among respondents, according to the press release. A majority (86%) of executives interviewed are at least somewhat optimistic about the outlook for their businesses, including 39% who are very confident.
CFOs in both the manufacturing and wholesale sectors are optimistic about their hiring plans for the fourth quarter, with a net 4% of executives in each industry forecasting increases in personnel levels. Thirteen percent of manufacturing respondents anticipate expanding their teams, and 9% expect staff reductions. In the wholesale sector, 9% of CFOs surveyed plan staff additions, while 5% said they will decrease headcount.
The West South Central states are projected to see the most active hiring in the fourth quarter, with a net 6% of CFOs in the region expecting to add full-time accounting and finance employees. The Pacific states also are expected to see above-average hiring activity, with a net 5% of CFOs in the region expecting to add personnel.The Robert Half Financial Hiring Index is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States.