2016 Professional hiring index: Northern based CFOs plan expansion of teams over the next six months

The Professional Hiring Index outlines businesses hiring plans for the first half of the year according to businesses in the North of the UK.

  • 53% of Northern-based CFOs predict an increase in new roles in H1 2016
  • 83% of CFOs and FDs in the North are confident in their company’s growth prospects
  • The key challenge in hiring for CFOs in the region is a lack of niche, technical experts

Manchester, 27 January 2016 – CFOs and Financial Directors operating in the North plan to increase staff levels significantly over the next six months, according to the latest Professional Hiring Index1 (‘the index’) from Robert Half UK. An average 53% of CFOs and FDs in the region predict that they will create new jobs in the next six months.

The index demonstrates that growth will continue to be on the agenda for finance and accounting leaders, with 83% of CFOs and FDs in the Midlands stating they are confident in their company’s growth prospects.

CFOs in the North were asked, ‘What are your company's hiring plans for permanent finance professionals in the first half of 2016? Would you say you are’:

H1 2016

Accountancy & Finance Executives

Expanding – Adding new positions


Maintaining – Only filling vacated positions


Freezing – Not filling vacated positions and not creating new ones


Reducing – Eliminating positions


*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding

Source: Robert Half, 2016

Adding extra headcount is the result of several factors with the most common being new projects or initiatives (52%), product or service expansion (52%) and domestic business growth or expansion (52%). These were followed by new market penetration (38%) and international business growth (38%).

However, despite the best intentions of Northern based CFOs and FDs, hiring may prove to be difficult as 88% of respondents stated it is very or somewhat challenging to find skilled professionals.  In particular finding talented professionals with the right skills is most difficult for those in accounting (23%), compliance (20%), business / financial analysis (18%) and audit (18%) functions.

Ed O’Connell, Director, Manchester and Leeds, Robert Half UK said: “The index highlights that CFOs and FDs in the North are confident about their growth plans for 2016 and are actively seeking skilled professionals to add to their headcount. This will not only drive up salaries but will also impact on the ever growing war for talent, which is being fuelled by the respective North-East and North-West Regional Spatial Strategies. We advise businesses in the North to act quickly if they find a candidate with the right skill set and commercial acumen as candidates are often receiving multiple offers. It is also vital to ensure that salaries are benchmarked and existing employees are looked after if businesses wish to remain competitive in the current jobs market.”


Notes to editors

1 The annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 300 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.