Executives Reveal 3Q Hiring Plans

Business optimism is rising, according to a recent study. Ninety-two percent of executives interviewed for The Robert Half Professional Employment Report said they are confident in their firms’ growth prospects in the third quarter of 2011; 44 percent said they are very confident. This compares with 86 percent who expressed confidence in the second-quarter survey.

The majority of executives, 90 percent, anticipate no change in staff levels during the third quarter. Six percent of respondents anticipate hiring professional-level staff and 3 percent foresee declines.

The resulting net 3 percent planning staff additions is down two points from the second-quarter forecast. Even with the slight decrease in the net projection, the percentage of executives expecting to see staff reductions has been trending down over the past five quarters.

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Executives also reported difficulties finding the talent they need. Forty-two percent of respondents said it is challenging to find skilled professionals today, up from 37 percent in the second-quarter survey.

The Robert Half Professional Employment Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 4,000 C-level executives and other leaders from a variety of fields throughout the United States.

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Those interviewed are asked about their hiring plans and general level of optimism for the upcoming quarter. Survey respondents include more than 1,400 chief financial officers (CFOs); 1,400 chief information officers (CIOs); 500 senior human resources managers; 100 lawyers at law firms and 100 corporate lawyers; and 125 advertising executives and 375 marketing executives, all of whom have hiring authority.

“Business confidence continues to grow,” said Max Messmer (pictured above), chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. “Although some companies remain reluctant to commit to full-time hires, others are actively looking for professionals to help them take advantage of new growth opportunities and enhance client service.”

The survey findings were released Wednesday, June 1.

Founded in 1948, Robert Half International provides professional staffing services.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman