More CFOs See Hiring Gains in Q2

March 22, 2005 ( - A net 6% of chief financial officers (CFOs) are predicting to hire more workers in the second quarter, driven by business growth and larger workloads.

According to the Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index, this is up 1% from first quarter projections, and equal to the 6% projection made last year at this time for the same quarter. Overall, 8% of CFOs plan to add staff in the next three months, while only 2% plan to reduce the size of their workforce.

Business growth was cited as the overwhelming reason for increased hiring, with 61% of CFOs claiming it as the top reason for such movement. Following this, 17% cited larger workloads as the primary reason for increased hiring.

By industry, the manufacturing and wholesale industries are expected to outpace the average in hiring increases, according to the index. Nine percent of manufacturing CFOs plan to hire in the coming quarter.

Sarbanes-Oxley compliance seems to be a catalyst for increased hiring as well, according to the index. The corporate governance regulation has caused 20% of CFOs in the financial, insurance and real estate sectors to add full-time accounting employees, while no CFOs in these industries expect to decrease staff levels.

“Companies appear to be more confident, pursuing new initiatives as well as ones that were previously postponed,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, in a press release. “As economic conditions improve and more projects are launched, there is greater urgency to hire accounting and finance personnel to support expansion efforts.”

The nation-wide poll took responses from 1,400 CFOs from companies of more than 20 workers, and was conducted by research firm Robert Half International.