Research released today (26 June 2007) by specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half Finance & Accounting reveals that little has changed for Scottish employers in the latter half of this year, as one in four (27 per cent) are still seeking skilled finance professionals over the next six months. At the start of 2007, Robert Half released the results of the first of their bi-annual Scottish Employment Index which then indicated the same number (27 per cent) of Scottish employers intending to increase staffing levels in the first six months of the year.
The second Scottish Employment Index conducted in May this year, of over 100 companies in Edinburgh and Glasgow, also indicates the continuing trend of companies hiring additional staff due to business expansion (51 per cent). This is in line with the findings from the first survey which showed business expansion (52 per cent) as the main reason for the recruitment drive. Other factors driving the need for more staff now include increased workloads (34 per cent), staff turnover (12 per cent) and mergers and acquisitions (five per cent).
As competition for skilled employees continues it is unsurprising that almost one in two (40 per cent) HR and finance managers surveyed acknowledge that finding candidates with general accounting skills remains the most difficult challenge, far more so than sourcing candidates with specialist skills in financial analysis, audit or tax - all polling less than 15 per cent.
Interestingly, though the survey implies an ongoing need for finance professionals, employers are less likely to increase employee salaries (23 per cent) over the next six months as compared to the 37 per cent who were willing to increase salaries earlier this year.
Phil Booth, Regional Director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting said:
'In order to facilitate the demand for staff, Scottish employers need to look at competitive remuneration in order to attract high quality candidates and retain staff. In addition, softer benefits such as flexible working hours and working from home should also be taken into consideration in the overall package designed to attract or keep skilled candidates.'
As companies are increasingly expanding, nearly one in two (47 per cent) Scottish managers believe that candidates with international work experience are beneficial to the workplace. More than a third (43 per cent) of Scottish employers said candidates with international work experience brought a fresh perspective to their working environment. An understanding of different cultures (29 per cent), knowledge of foreign languages (24 per cent) and knowledge of international reporting standards (23 per cent) were other reasons given for hiring candidates with international experience.
Phil Booth said:
'As companies expand globally, it is encouraging to see Scottish employers are seeing the benefits of hiring staff who can blend well into different cultures, bring an open minded attitude and have a greater understanding of the world economy to fit in with the changing environment of the international workplace.'
The survey also looked at the support working mothers received in Scotland with over half (52 per cent) of respondents surveyed stating their companies could do more to support working mothers. In spite of this, almost three-quarters (69 per cent) offer flexible hours to support working mothers, 43 per cent offer help with childcare costs, and 37 per cent allow working mothers extra leave if their child is sick.
Document: Scotland Employment Index
For further information please contact:
Robert Half International
Tel : 020 7331 2222
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org