CFOs increase permanent headcount

By Matt Western Director – UK South Director, Robert Half UK 

Boardroom confidence has returned and businesses are understandably eager to exploit growth opportunities as the economic recovery maintains momentum. In this more positive post-recession environment, we are witnessing a resurgence of the ‘war for talent’ as employers compete to attract high quality candidates for vital finance positions that will allow them to deliver against ambitious corporate objectives.

According to the latest Professional Hiring Index from Robert Half UK, based on independent research among C-suite executives, there has been a massive rise in hiring for accountancy and finance roles.

In relation to all of the UK, 45% of finance executives plan to expand their teams by adding new positions over the second half of 2014. This is a 15% increase from the comparable period in 2013 when three in 10 (29%) executives indicated that they planned to create additional jobs within their companies.

The top reasons for hiring are: new projects and initiatives (73%); domestic business growth or expansion (52%); product or service expansion (36%); and international business growth (31%). Only 3% of directors questioned planned on making redundancies.

In light of such a major uplift in demand, there is the very real worry that a talent shortage may prove a brake on growth. Our research finds 92% of finance leaders now say it is either somewhat or very challenging to find the required talent. The top three areas in which CFOs are struggling to find skilled candidates are business and financial analysis (32%), accounting (29%), and financial management/control and audit (both equal 26%).

“Hiring levels are returning to pre-recessionary levels, as many C-suite executives across the UK look to add more weight and support to their departments in order to grow their operations,” says Robert Half’s South West Director Matt Weston. “Businesses are no longer just replacing leavers but are now looking to substantially expand their teams. Resourcing is fundamental to an organisation’s success, with strong individuals driving business critical growth initiatives.

“Skills shortages across the UK are becoming a major issue, with this deficit putting businesses at increasing risk. Our figures show that financial services and finance & accounting, in particular, are current and future growth areas, with professionals being highly sought after and commanding premium remuneration.”

This article first appeared in the form of Latest Professional Hiring Index Shows 44% Projected Increase in UK Jobs on http://www.roberthalf.co.uk/press-room

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