Finance Leaders Fear Loss of Top Performers

The hiring market for accounting and finance professionals is in a state of transition, a new study suggests. Businesses are confident about their own growth prospects but, in many instances, are experiencing challenges finding highly skilled financial professionals.


Financial leaders surveyed for the fifth annual Robert Half Global Financial Employment Monitor also reported growing concern about their ability to hold on to their best employees.


Globally, two-thirds (67%) of respondents said it is either very or somewhat challenging today to find skilled accounting and finance professionals for certain jobs. Those surveyed also are more worried about keeping top performers than they were a year ago. Fifty-six percent of financial leaders said they are at least somewhat concerned about retaining their staff in the coming year, up from 45% in 2010.


In the Asia-Pacific region, long hours are the norm for many managers. Financial leaders in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore all work an average of at least 41 hours a week, with respondents in Asia reporting notably longer workweeks.


Managers in Singapore log the most extensive hours (an average of 48 hours per week), followed by Hong Kong (46 hours) and Japan (45 hours). Significant numbers of managers in each area--ranging from 28 percent in New Zealand to 63 percent in Singapore--said they work 46 hours or more on a weekly basis.


Despite carrying such heavy workloads, financial leaders commonly are pressured to take on even more hours. Nearly half of the respondents in Hong Kong (49 percent) and Japan (48 percent) said they often or always feel pressure to log additional time. Even in New Zealand, where the fewest respondents cited this concern, approximately three in 10 managers (31 percent) reported feeling this burden frequently.


The areas identified across the 19 countries as the hardest to recruit for are finance, accounting and operational support (e.g. accounts payable (A/P) and payroll positions).





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