Robert Half Professional Employment Report: Net 13 Per Cent of Executives Expect to Hire in Second Quarter

Mar 8, 2011 | Corporate Member News

A net 13 per cent of executives interviewed for The Robert Half Professional Employment Report ( said they expect to add full-time, professional-level employees in the second quarter of 2011. Fifteen per cent plan to increase staff, while 2 per cent anticipate declines. The net 13 per cent projected increase is up 10 points from the previous quarter’s projections.

Positive quarter-over-quarter increases are reported for all professions, most notably sales and business development, accounting and finance, human resources and information technology.

Across all fields, most executives remain optimistic about the future of their companies. Nearly all respondents (87 per cent) said they were confident in their firms’ growth prospects; more than four in 10 (43 per cent) are very confident.

The Robert Half Professional Employment Report is the first quarterly executive survey of its size and scope to focus exclusively on professional-level hiring. The survey is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 executives from a variety of fields(1) throughout Canada about their hiring plans and general level of optimism regarding the upcoming quarter.

Key Findings 

–   A net 13 per cent of executives plan to add professional-level staff in the second quarter of 2011. 

–   Eighty-seven per cent of executives are at least somewhat confident in their organisations’ ability to grow in the second quarter; 43 per cent are very confident. 

–   Forty-seven per cent of respondents(2) said it is challenging to find skilled professionals today. 

–   Forty-one per cent of executives said they are concerned about losing top-performing professionals to other job opportunities in the next year. 

–   Companies in the business services sector expect the most active hiring in the second quarter. A net 38 per cent of executives anticipate staff additions. 

–   The accounting and finance field saw a large rise in hiring, with a nine-point increase over last quarter’s projections. 

“Increased business activity is prompting hiring, particularly among companies that cut staff too deeply in recent years,” said Kathryn Bolt, district president of Robert Half Canada. “While some firms are hiring to maintain adequate staffing levels, businesses also are adding personnel in anticipation of renewed demand for their products and services.”

Professional-Level Hiring — By Industry

Business services companies expect the most active hiring of any industry in the second quarter, with a net 38 per cent of executives expecting to make staff additions. “For instance, as companies begin to expand their product and service selections, they engage advertising agencies and digital media companies to help raise their firms’ visibility and drive sales,” added Bolt.

Executives in the construction industry also anticipate above-average hiring activity. A net 32 per cent of construction executives said they plan to add staff.

Professional-Level Hiring — By Field

Respondents in the legal profession forecast the strongest hiring activity of all fields. Forty-four per cent of lawyers interviewed for the report projected staff increases and 1 per cent anticipated declines.

About Robert Half International

Founded in 1948, Robert Half International, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, is a recognized leader in professional staffing services. The company’s specialized staffing divisions include Accountemps, Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam, for highly skilled temporary administrative support personnel; Robert Half Technology, for information technology professionals; Robert Half Legal, for legal personnel; and The Creative Group, for interactive, design and marketing professionals. Robert Half International has staffing and consulting operations in more than 400 locations worldwide. Find more information at, and follow us on Twitter at 


(1) Survey respondents included more than 270 chief financial officers (CFOs); 270 chief information officers (CIOs); 150 senior human resources managers; 75 lawyers at law firms and 75 corporate lawyers; and 50 advertising executives and 200 marketing executives within Canada, all of whom have hiring authority.

(2) Respondents to this question included a total of more than 900 CFOs, CIOs, lawyers and advertising and marketing executives. 

For further information: Nadia Santoli, (416) 350-2330, [email protected]

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