C-Suite Say the Future's Bright for Hiring

By Robert Half, PRNE
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

UK CFOs Increasingly Optimistic With 44 Per Cent Confident About Economic Prospects Facing the Country

LONDON, February 16, 2011 - For the finance industry, permanent hiring is on the increase in the UK,
with thirty-three per cent of CFOs interviewed for the Robert Half Financial
Hiring Index saying they plan to increase the number of permanent employees
in finance and accounting in the first half of 2011. Only 12 per cent of
respondents anticipated declines here, meaning the resulting net 21 per cent
increase in expected permanent hiring activity is up 29 points over forecast
for the latter half of 2010.

When asked their reasons for adding additional permanent staff, over half
(53 per cent) of executives cited business growth or expansion, followed by
almost one in four (38 per cent) who chose rising workloads. Remuneration
prospects are also trending upward; nearly three in 10 (29 per cent) CFOs
plan to increase base salaries and 21 per cent plan to increase bonuses in
the next six months.

"These results indicate that permanent hiring in the financial industry
is increasingly buoyant, with executives feeling more confident about the UK
economy and needing more staff to tackle rising workloads from clients, a
real sign of improvement" said Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert
Half UK. "Although some hiring is the result of attrition, the survey points
to UK finance leaders looking to additional employees to leverage emerging
business opportunities, favourably positioning their companies for the

Other Key Findings

    - In London, a net 38 per cent of executives plan to add
    - More than one in three finance leaders express increased
      confidence in the economic prospects facing their company. This is 30
      points higher than the forecast six months ago, and this rises to more
      than half of London CFOs and nearly two-thirds of financial services'
    - Forty-four per cent of CFOs are confident about the economic
      prospects facing the UK. This is 30 points higher than the forecast six
      months ago
    - One in four executives expect their company's revenues to grow in
      the first half of the year

The Robert Half Financial Hiring Index is focused exclusively on finance
and accounting hiring across commerce and industry and the financial services
sectors. The results are based on interviews with more than 280 CFOs from
across the United Kingdom to determine their hiring plans for the first half
of the year. The results are segmented by location, size and business type
and offer perspective on executive's future hiring plans and business

Hiring Trends - By Region

Executives in London and Southern England are most optimistic about
hiring, with a net 38 per cent and 32 per cent, respectively, planning to add
permanent staff in the first half of 2011. This is up 33 and 31 points,
respectively, over the last half year's results and 17 and 11 points above
the current national average.

Hiring Trends - By Sector

Executives from publicly listed companies expect the most active hiring
of accounting and finance staff, with a net 63 per cent planning to increase
permanent head count and another 35 per cent forecasting increased use of
temporary professionals. The public sector, in contrast, is expecting
negative hiring trends with a net 13 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively,
planning to decrease their permanent and temporary employee levels.

Hiring Trends - By Industry

Hiring projections for the financial services sector are especially
optimistic, with 44 per cent of CFOs planning to add permanent accounting and
finance staff and 56 per cent maintaining existing levels. No one anticipates
declines. Junior positions (1-5 years of experience) are most in demand, with
nearly two in three (64 per cent) CFOs looking to recruit, followed by middle
management at 55 per cent.

The hiring outlook for accounting professionals within commerce and
industry also showed strong improvement, with 33 per cent of respondents
planning on hiring additional permanent employees and 13 per cent
anticipating declines. Nearly half (48 per cent) of those adding staff plan
to hire middle management roles, followed closely by junior positions at 47
per cent.

Sheridan adds, "Such optimism within the financial services sector is an
excellent sign for the greater UK economy. With many companies relying on the
stability of the banking and capital market sector, increased hiring may
provide ripple effects within the first half of the year."

About Robert Half

Robert Half pioneered specialised recruitment services and today is the
world's leader in the field. Founded in 1948, the company is traded on the
New York Stock Exchange (symbol: RHI) and operates five separate divisions in
the UK, each serving distinct markets. They include: Robert Half Finance &
Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for temporary, permanent and
project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance;
OfficeTeam, for administrative support, Robert Half Financial Services Group,
for finance and banking professionals and Robert Half Technology, for IT

There are more than 350 Robert Half locations in North America, South
, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. For more information about
Robert Half please visit: www.roberthalf.co.uk

For the full Professional Hiring Index, including press-ready graphs and
the full report, please visit www.roberthalf.co.uk/press-room.

Kristie Perrotte, Kristie.perrotte at rhi.net, +44(0)207-331-2222

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