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Robert Half Reports Finance and Accounting Talent is in High Demand (Duh)

According to the results of a recent Robert Half survey, companies across the U.S. are hungry for talent and of all professional roles, finance and accounting are nearly the most in-demand, second only to technology. The survey also shows that few respondents expect to freeze hiring or eliminate positions in the first half of this year, and that contract work is on the rise for these hard to place roles.

Take it away, Bob:

Despite market volatility, companies across the country have plans to hire early this year and are scrambling to staff up, research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half shows. According to the company’s State of U.S. Hiring Survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers, 58% of respondents anticipate adding new permanent roles during the first half of the year, up from 46% six months ago. Another 39% expect to hire for vacated positions. Managers in technology (64%) and finance and accounting (62%) have the greatest full-time staffing needs.

Companies’ Plans for Hiring Permanent Staff

First half of 2023 Second half 2022 First half 2022
Hiring for new roles 58% 46% 65%
Hiring for vacated positions 39% 46% 33%
Freezing hiring 3% 6% 2%
Eliminating positions 0% 2% 1%

While many companies are eager to hire, 9 in 10 managers said it’s challenging to find skilled professionals, on par with results from the prior State of U.S. Hiring Survey. Employers also reported it can take up to 11 weeks, on average, to hire for an open position, up from 7 weeks in 2021.

“Hiring tends to pick up at the beginning of the year, as budgets have been approved and teams seek additional support for initiatives that will drive business growth and customer retention,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “As job openings and turnover remain high, employers need to play offense — and be prepared to negotiate — in order to recruit and retain skilled talent.”

The survey then points us to an emerging trend: contract work. Companies desperate for finance, accounting, and legal talent are turning to contract professionals to fill in the gaps when full-time talent is too difficult to find.

According to the research, 72% of managers plan to hire more contract professionals in the first half of 2023, compared to 45% six months ago. Those in finance and accounting and legal (78% each) are most likely to increase their use of contract talent. “Contract professionals can quickly step in to help with critical projects and heavy workloads while companies continue their search for permanent employees,” McDonald added.

From State of U.S. Hiring Survey by Robert Half

The press release goes on to say that employers surveyed conduct about four interviews with a candidate before extending a job offer. The traits they are looking for include knowledge of the company, timeliness and professionalism during interviews, and passion for the company’s mission (barf). “Pressure to hire for open positions quickly can lead to hasty decisions — and mistakes. On the flip side, a drawn-out interview process or overemphasis on one or two priorities are barriers to bringing on top talent. Employers should aim to get a well-rounded view of candidates while remaining efficient and consistent,” advised McDonald.

Keep all of this in mind as you and your wandering eye are out there entertaining job offers.

U.S. Companies Anticipate Increased Hiring in the First Half of 2023 [Robert Half]

2 thoughts on “Robert Half Reports Finance and Accounting Talent is in High Demand (Duh)

  1. I have been trying to get an accounting job since 2020!!
    The hiring process via internet is so flawed
    If you don’t have any connections it is impossible.
    I want to work, I passed all the CPA exams on the first try, all I need is somebody/company to hire me to at least get enough hours to obtain the license

    1. Are you applying to firms or private? Do you have prior experience or brand new? If brand new, how were your college grades? I’ve been a recruiter for a B4, a regional firm, and private sector. If you apply with us online, you’ll get a look because all of us are desperate. So what’s the flag on your app that you aren’t sharing? Are you applying to senior associate roles without experience? Or applying to tax positions with an audit background? Something doesn’t add up.

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