According to the results of a recent Robert Half survey, companies across the U.S. are […]
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Latest CFO Survey Results Reveal a Whole Lot of Information That Will Make You Shrug with Indifference
Take it away, Robert Half! In the latest survey, 5% of executives said they plan […]
In a few weeks, many of you plugging along through busy season will decide to […]
Forgive me for suggesting this to (alleged) financial professionals but perhaps if they treated their current talent like, well, talent as opposed to third-rate street whores, they might not have this problem. One need look no further than the comment section on any of our salary posts to find warranted discontent, anger, frustration and threats of exodus.
The Robert Half Global Financial Employment Monitor was developed by Robert Half International and is based on surveys conducted by independent research firms. The study, focusing on hiring difficulties, retention concerns and business confidence, includes responses from more than 6,000 financial leaders across 19 countries.
Here are the key findings:
• Two-thirds, 67 percent, of financial leaders reported at least some level of recruiting difficulty. Approximately one out of five (19 percent) respondents said it is very challenging to find skilled accounting and finance professionals today.
• Retention concerns are rising. Globally, 56 percent of executives said they are either very or somewhat concerned about losing top performers to other job opportunities in the year ahead. This is an 11-point jump from the 2010 survey.
• In the United States, 43 percent of executives cited worries about keeping their best people. This is up from 28 percent in 2010.
• Eighty-nine percent of respondents reported being at least somewhat confident in their organization’s growth prospects for the coming year.
More disturbing, retention issues seem to be a globally pervasive issue. More than half of executives, 56 percent, said they are very or somewhat concerned about losing valued employees to other opportunities in the coming year. This compares to 45 percent who cited retention concerns in the 2010 survey.
In some countries, the results were much higher. The number of executives worried about keeping key employees is up 16 points in Singapore, for example; 91 percent of respondents there said they see retention as an issue. In Hong Kong and Brazil, 88 percent and 85 percent of financial leaders, respectively, noted retention concerns.
What this means, of course, is that if any of you are desperate for work and somewhat decent at your jobs, you might want to look into tapping these markets. Despite what the IASB may like you to think, U.S. GAAP isn’t dead and knowledge of it is still a marketable skill, though a decent command of international standards will obviously benefit you more going forward.
Or turn your keepers’ fears into a tool to be leveraged and get yourselves raised up to at least second-rate street whore. Stranger things have happened.
Some business etiquette rules in this day and age are common sense (which we hope most of you have at least a little of): tweet as if your boss is watching, don’t threaten to stab your senior on Facebook (especially if said senior is in your friends list), and don’t leave a miserable trail of bad behavior behind on your company laptop when you leave the company.
For everything else that isn’t so clear, Robert Half offers Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age, tips and tricks for polishing up your online persona. Here are a few sticky etiquette questions and answers to whet your palate:
Can Facebook postings hurt my job search?
A good rule of thumb is to always post prudently: If you don’t want your employer to see it, get rid of it. A recent survey by our firm revealed that 44 percent of executives review the Facebook presence of potential hires. Even if your account is just for fun, keep it in check. To put your Facebook on a privacy lockdown, click on the drop-down “Account” menu in the top right corner and select “Privacy Settings.” Keep in mind that Facebook may change its privacy features at any time, and you might not be aware of the changes when they occur. Always assume that anything you post online may become public.
Should I friend my boss or coworkers?
This is the $64,000 question, and the feelings of those on the receiving end may provide the answer. (See “Thinking About ‘Friending’ Your Boss on Facebook?” on Page 10 of Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age.) If you do connect, utilize privacy settings and different friend lists to control how — and with whom — you share content. Be sensitive to your professional environment: some industries or companies are much more engaged in digital networking than others. If you’re starting a new job, take your cue from others before sending out “friend” requests to your new colleagues.
How responsive should I be to e-mail when I’m on vacation?
It depends on whether you want to have a real vacation. If your “Out of Office” says you’re not checking e-mail on vacation, don’t check and respond to messages. Doing so changes expectations and implies you’re more accessible than you said you’d be. Instead, be considerate to others’ needs while you are out and list a back-up contact in your Out of Office auto response.
We especially like that last one. Remember, being professional isn’t the same as being a bitch, and you are allowed to set reasonable boundaries without giving your partners a stroke while they fume over those damn incorrigible Gen Y kids taking over the office. And if anyone tells you differently, you send them our way and we’ll set them straight.
You can download Business Etiquette: The New Rules in a Digital Age via Robert Half.
More bad news on the hiring front, as CFOs say they are less likely to hire people now than they were three months ago.
According to the latest quarterly Robert Half Financial Hiring Index, six percent of chief financial officers said they plan to hire full-time accounting and finance employees during the third quarter of 2010.
In the prior survey conducted three months ago, seven percent of CFOs indicated they planned to add full-time accounting and finance employees during the second quarter. At the time, the folks at Robert Half celebrated the fact this was the highest hiring forecast since the first quarter of 2009.
Well, that party was short-lived.
Meanwhile, in the latest survey, nine percent of CFOs said they anticipate staff reductions. This is up from eight percent in the prior quarterly survey.
Add it up, and CFOs are more pessimistic now than they were three months ago. Not a recipe for bringing down the nation’s stubbornly high unemployment rate.
And accounting was supposed to be the good profession to go into because it is supposedly growing. Oh well.
Of course, the folks at Robert Half-an employment agency–put a positive spin on its results, asserting: “CFOs remain optimistic about the outlook for their businesses.”
The reality is – the job picture in this country is bleak and possibly getting worse. There is not one report out there that suggests companies are ready to unleash their HR departments.
In fact, the government’s recent report – which President Obama inexplicably predicted several days earlier would be strong – found that nearly half the unemployed have been out of work at least six months.
Even the teaching profession – long considered recession resistant and secure – is experiencing massive layoffs nationwide. Only a wage freeze movement is preventing even more teachers from losing their jobs.
Ultimately, companies need to see a connection between hiring more people and growing their business for them to decide to add to staff.
Increasing their taxes and piling more and more regulatory and policy mandates on them is certainly not going to entice companies to hire more people.