U.S. companies are having a harder time finding qualified candidates for unfilled jobs, with nearly half experiencing increased recruitment competition, according to the American Institute of CPAs.

The institute polled 1,440 chief executive officers, CFOs, controllers and other CPAs for its latest Economic Outlook Survey, reporting that 43% said competition for good candidates had increased compared with the end of 2014.

Another 25% of respondents said they saw no lull in what was already strong competition.

Only 12% said they had no difficulty hiring good candidates, while 4% said the recruiting environment has actually improved since late last year. Another 16% said they aren’t hiring, and so don’t have a take on the recruiting process.

The survey also found that availability of skilled personnel resurfaced as a top 3 concern for the first time since the fourth quarter of last year. It had been No. 4 the previous two quarters

Some 40% of respondents said their companies put plans in place last year to raise compensation and benefits to attract talent. Nearly half (47%) said they were keeping their overall compensation packages unchanged for new hires.

A majority (58%) said they were on target with initial projections for incentive compensation and bonus payments for 2015. Some 11% said incentives and bonuses would be higher than expected, while 18% said they would be lower.

In addition, slightly more than half (51%) said turnover was not an issue for their organization, and another 10% said the problem had abated some since last year. However, 39% said turnover continued to be a concern.

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