Results from the most recent Robert Half Financial Hiring Index indicate that staff levels in accounting and finance should hold mostly steady in the second quarter of 2012.
In a survey involving telephone interviews with 1,400 chief financial officers (CFO), 91 percent of respondents said they expect to maintain their current personnel levels in the second quarter. Sixty-nine percent answered that question the same way at the start of the year.
Four percent of respondents say they plan to add employees and 5 percent predicted staff decreases. The results were less positive in the South Atlantic region (Virginia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.), where 11 percent of executives plan to reduce staff and 84 percent expect to maintain their current personnel levels.
The East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee) and Mountain (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming) regions were the most bullish on hiring, with a net 5 percent of executives saying they plan to add staff.
Ninety-one percent of executives said they were confident in their companies’ growth prospects for the second quarter, a 4 percent increase from the first quarter.
"As economic signs continue to improve incrementally in the United States, companies are hiring skilled accounting and finance professionals at a steady rate to meet demand," Robert Half International (RHI) Chairman and CEO Max Messmer said. "Staff reductions are trending downward as businesses seek to avoid weakening their bench strength at a time when growth opportunities are emerging."