Two surveys released this week indicate that finance executives plan to hire in the first quarter and in the rest 2011.
In a survey of CPAs, 13% of respondents said they have current plans to hire this year. The number, from the AICPA/UNC Kenan-Flagler Quarterly Economic Survey surveyed 1,168 CPAs who hold leadership positions at companies across various industries, is a three point increase over last quarter and a seven point increase from the first quarter 2010.
The majority of respondents, 55%, said they have the right number of employees, while 11% said they have excess employees. Another 19% said they need more employees but are still hesitant to hire.
Getting headcount back to pre-recession levels has been pushed back to 2012 for most, the survey found. Only 7% of respondents expect to return to pre-recession levels over the next year, while 23% expect it to happen in the next 12 to 24 months. Almost a third said they don't expect to reach those levels in the foreseeable future.
According to another survey that came out this week, 50% of senior finance executives surveyed said it was "certain" or "very likely" that full-time employment at their company would increase in 2011 compared to 2010 levels. The Duke University/CFO Magazine, which polled 418 such executives, also found that respondents as a group plan to increase their domestic full-time workforces by almost 4% over the next year. Temporary hiring will remain steady and outsourced staffing will be scaled back.
More than half of those polled also indicated they would be likely to give bigger salary increases than they doled out in 2010. When it comes to bonuses, 40% of respondents said they would give out bigger packages than in 2009 and 2010. Nearly half, however, are worried that as the employment outlook improves this year, they will see their top employees depart.
Write to Julie Steinberg