Professional hiring index predicts finance and accounting jobs will drive Midlands labour market expansion

The Professional Hiring Index for the second half of 2015 looks at hiring trends and skills shortages that are expected to impact businesses across the Midlands in UK

  • More than half (60%) of chief finance officers (CFOs) predict an increase in new finance and accounting roles in H2 2015
  • Vast majority (90%) say that it is either very or somewhat challenging to find skilled finance and accounting services professionals
  • Over half (58%) predict increase in finance and accounting roles driven by new projects/initiatives

Birmingham, 30 June 2015 – Senior finance executives in businesses operating in the Midlands plan to increase staff levels significantly over the next six months, according to the latest Professional Hiring Index1 (‘the index’) from Robert Half UK.  More than half (60%) of senior finance executives across the region predict that they will create new jobs in the second half of 2015, 10% higher than the UK average (50%).

The continued rise in the UK hiring forecast indicates that post-recession confidence has now stabilised and steady growth is on the agenda.  As a result of this growth, there is stronger competition for accounting and finance professionals and the vast majority of CFOs in the region (90%) say that it is challenging to find skilled finance professionals today.  The main reasons for the skills shortage according to CFOs are a lack of niche, technical experts (cited by 43%), general demand outweighs supply (28%) and lack of commercial skills (20%).

CFOs in the Midlands were asked, ‘In which top three functional areas within accounting and finance is it most difficult to find skilled job candidates?’

1. Compliance 25%
=2. Accounting 20%
=2. Business/financial analysis 20%
=2. Financial management and control 20%
3. Credit and collections 18%

Source: Robert Half, 2015

The majority (85%) of finance leaders in the region are optimistic about economic growth for the forthcoming year and this is reflected in predictions for their own company’s growth prospects (90%). The growth agenda is increasing headcount for the following three reasons: well over half (58%) said they would hire to provide resources for new projects and initiatives, while 50% cited product or service expansion and 38% pointed to domestic business growth or expansion.

In the Midlands, the economic climate is a top driver behind the stronger employment market, according to 33% of CFOs, while higher confidence amongst workers (30%) and higher confidence among employers (also 30%) are also helping to build momentum.

James Sayer, Director, Midlands, Robert Half  said: “As we head into the second half of the year, confidence levels are high and momentum for growth will only continue to build. We are seeing businesses across the Midlands and particularly in Birmingham adding headcount for skilled finance and accounting professionals further extending the current skills shortage. Companies who are looking to hire should do so quickly as sought-after accounting and finance professionals on the market today are often receiving multiple offers.”

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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 200 interviews with chief financial officers and financial directors 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 and