The job market for accounting and finance positions should improve a bit in the fourth quarter, according to a new report by Robert Half International.
The staffing-services firm, which surveyed 1,400 chief financial officers at companies with more than 20 employees, found that 7 percent of CFOs planned to add finance staff in the fourth quarter, while 3 percent anticipated cutting back. The net increase of 4 percent is 1 percentage point higher than the third-quarter findings.
Robert Half found that expansion plans at many companies have led to a call for “staff and senior accountants, as well as financial analysts who can help with budgeting and forecasting,” according to a statement by chairman and chief executive officer Max Messmer. Fully 55 percent of the executives who plan to hire finance professionals in the fourth quarter cited business growth as the primary reason.
Increased corporate-governance demands were cited by 14 percent of respondents as helping to boost financial hiring, both on a full-time and consulting basis. “Many organizations underestimated the resources required for compliance initiatives,” added Messmer, “and now seek experienced accounting professionals to help them assess and strengthen their internal controls and assist with remediation efforts.”
What Robert Half calls the West North Central region of the country — Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and the Dakotas — is expected to see the greatest hiring activity in the fourth quarter. According to the staffing firm, 9 percent of CFOs from these states plan to add to their accounting teams, while 2 percent expect cutbacks, a net 7 percent increase. The Middle Atlantic region — New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania — should see a net 6 percent increase.
Hiring in the finance/insurance/real estate industry is expected to outpace all other sectors, Robert Half also reported; 19 percent of CFOs from this sector reported plans to add to their teams, while none expected cutbacks.