Most Finance CFOs Report No Plans to Change Staff Levels

March 18, 2009 ( - Most (86%) chief financial officers interviewed for the Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index report a desire to maintain current staff levels for the next three months.

According to a Robert Half press release, 5% of respondents indicated they plan to add full-time employees while only 7% expect staff reductions.

CFOs in the West South Central states (Arizona, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas) expect the most hiring activity in the second quarter. Eleven percent of executives plan to add employees while 7% forecast personnel reductions.

Among industries, 6% of professional services CFOs expect to increase hiring in the second quarter and 4% plan a decrease.

“Businesses are increasingly reluctant to hire in the current environment, choosing instead to maintain staff levels until they see definitive signs of an improving economy,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, in the press release. “Companies that are hiring are more selective because they can be — there is a larger pool of skilled applicants available. As a result, employers are taking extra time to identify and hire the best available person for each open position.”


However, even with the larger pool of skilled applicants available, some financial executives continue to report difficulty finding highly skilled professionals for certain functional areas, Robert Half said. Twenty-five percent of CFOs interviewed cited accounting positions as the most difficult to fill, and 19% said they experience the greatest challenges when hiring for finance roles.

The Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CFOs across the United States.