Businesses Optimistic About Growth but Face Greater Recruiting Difficulties

Business - Job Interview with HR and applicant
© Photographer: Arne9001 | Agency: Dreamstime.com
In a recent Robert Half survey, nearly all business executives interviewed said they are optimistic about their companies’ growth prospects in the first six months of 2014. However, they are less certain about their ability to recruit experienced talent for open jobs. In fact, more than half (58 per cent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) said it is at least somewhat challenging to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions today. This is down slightly from 60 per cent this time last year, but with the number of executives selecting “very challenging” increasing 7 points.

The Canadian survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a random sample of Canadian companies.

CFOs were asked, “In general, how challenging is it for your company to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions today?” Their responses:

2014 2013
Very challenging 26% 19%
Somewhat challenging 32% 41%
Not challenging 30% 21%
Don’t know/no answer 13% 19%
Total 101%* 100%

*Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding

CFOs were also asked, “How confident are you in your company’s prospects for growth in the first quarter of 2014?” Their responses:

2014 2013
Very confident 35% 35%
Somewhat confident 52% 49%
Not at all confident 6% 12%
Don’t know/no answer 7% 4%
Total 100% 100%

“How successful a business is in reaching its goals is often dependent on its ability to not only attract but retain talented professionals,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “Organizations who invest in the establishment of integrated hiring practices, including building a strong employer brand, leveraging internal and external networks or partnering with a specialized recruiting firm, are in the best position to attract the talent needed to succeed.”

Scileppi also noted that retaining those skilled workers has become a greater business priority as the process of replacing good employees costs time and money, and may result in interruptions in business activity. “More and more we see organizations reviewing their salary benchmarks to ensure they remain competitive with compensation and incentives being offered to their staff.”

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