Slight increase in hiring for fourth quarter: Survey

Finance, insurance and real estate most active industries
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/13/2011

Seventeen per cent of Canadian executives said they are planning to hire professional-level staff in the fourth quarter of 2011, while two per cent foresee personnel cutbacks. The net 15 per cent increase in hiring activity is up one point from the third-quarter forecast, according to the Robert Half Professional Employment Report.

The portion (75 per cent) of hiring executives who said they anticipate no change in staff levels is down from 80 per cent three months ago, found the survey of more than 1,000 C-level executives (including more than 270 CFOs, 270 chief information officers, 150 senior HR managers, 75 lawyers at law firms and 75 corporate lawyers, 50 advertising executives and 200 marketing executives).

However, 48 per cent of the executives said it is challenging to find skilled professionals today, unchanged from the third quarter.

Fourth-quarter hiring projections were higher than the third-quarter forecast in nearly all professional segments, found Robert Half.

“Companies are hiring skilled professionals to assist in supporting their organizations’ growth initiatives and enhancing overall client service,” said Kathryn Bolt, district president of Robert Half Canada. “An increase in business activity, in particular, is prompting hiring in the financial services, insurance and real estate industry, where it has become more common for the strongest candidates to receive multiple employment offers.”

General business confidence remains strong among all professional segments in the survey. Forty-one per cent of executives indicated they are “very confident” in their companies’ ability to grow in the fourth quarter, while 46 per cent said they are “somewhat confident.”

The marketing field is expected to see strong hiring activity, with a net 26 per cent of marketing and advertising executives planning to increase staff levels, found the survey.

Fourth-quarter professional-level hiring is anticipated to be strongest in the finance, insurance and real estate sector, where a net 29 per cent of respondents said they expect to make staff additions. A net 24 per cent of executives in the retail industry also indicated they will hire during the quarter.

Hiring expectations by profession

Increase

Decrease

Net increase

Accounting, finance

13%

5%

8%

Advertising, marketing

27%

1%

26%

HR

11%

0%

11%

Information technology

24%

2%

22%

Legal

44%

1%

43%

Sales, business development

25%

1%

24%

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