Financial analysts and staff and senior accountants will be in high demand in the fourth quarter, according to a recent Q4 employment report from Robert Half, a staffing firm that specializes in finance and accounting among other professional disciplines.
To compile the report, Robert Half interviewed 3,500 top executives, including over 1,400 CFOs.
While 8% of the 1,400 CFOs surveyed said they would be adding staff in the fourth quarter, 7% said they would be trimming staff. This is the first time in nearly two years that this report has shown more CFOs hiring than laying off employees.
According to the report, 11% of executives interviewed from all industries expect to hire in the fourth quarter, representing a six point increase versus the Q3 report -- the first increase in almost two years. Correspondingly, 86% of respondents said they are very or somewhat confident in their companies' growth potential in the next several months.
To prepare for the growth, companies are gradually hiring and also bringing on interim employees. They're also working with finance pros on temporary-to-hire bases.
Though firms are cautiously optimistic about hiring in the fourth quarter, they're having trouble pinning down the most qualified applicants. In the survey, 46% of executives said it was a challenge to find skilled professionals, a five point increase from the third quarter.
Companies are specifically looking for three positions: business systems analysts (people who can implement long-shelved software initiatives), financial analysts (especially senior ones who can communicate well with management) and staff and senior accountants who know their away around financial statements.
Wrong Time to Make a Move
It might be a bad time to go to your boss with a rival company's job offer demanding that she match it.
The Robert Half survey found that four out of ten executives are skittish about extending counteroffers should an employee bring a rival bid to the table. Their concerns center on the possibility that if the employee accepts the counteroffer and stays, he will be less loyal, his issues will not be addressed properly, the offer might disrupt the department's salary structure, and his relationships with managers and co-workers will change.
Helpful news to keep in mind if you're thinking of approaching your boss with another offer. That said, if you're trying to get a raise (or you really want to go to another firm), keeping quiet won't help you.
Write to Julie Steinberg