The vast majority of chief financial officers don't expect to do any hiring over the next few months, according to the recently released Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index. Fully 85 percent of CFOs interviewed by the finance and accounting staffing company said that they anticipate no changes in staffing levels, while 9 percent plan to add full-time personnel, and 5 percent plan to cut staff. CFOs in the South Atlantic region were more likely to expect to expand staff than the national average, with 14 percent reporting plans to hire and only 1 percent expecting declines. New England and the West South Central region also expect above-average hiring growth. Among industries, both the business services sector and construction foresee staff growth above the norm. Some of the moderation in growth may reflect the ongoing difficulty companies face in trying to find qualified candidates for jobs in accounting and finance. "Sustained hiring in accounting and finance over the past several years has resulted in an increasingly shallow talent pool, and many employers continue to struggle to find professionals with the requisite skills," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. The survey was based on telephone interviews with 1,400 CFOs at companies with more than 20 employees.

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