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Robert Half Global Survey Reports On Financial Services Hiring Environment; Recruiting Difficulties, Retention Concerns Emerge as Common Themes

Apr 30, 2013

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Already faced with a changing regulatory landscape globally, the financial services sector may have yet another challenge: finding and keeping good employees. In a recent Robert Half study, nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) executives surveyed in seven countries reported recruiting difficulties, and 83 percent said they are concerned about losing top performers to other opportunities.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on responses from 1,100 financial services executives, including finance directors, chief financial officers and chief operations officers, across seven countries: Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"While some areas within financial services institutions have seen cutbacks, other more profitable product lines are receiving further investment, which has resulted in additional hiring," said Neil Owen, global practice director of financial services recruitment for Robert Half. "This is creating challenges in finding the requisite staff to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Competition for the industry's top talent continues to intensify for middle and back-office roles, particularly accounting and finance, as well as operations positions."

A Challenging Hiring Environment
Eighty-nine percent of executives surveyed said it is very or somewhat difficult to find skilled financial services professionals today. Talent shortages are especially acute in Hong Kong, where 95 percent of respondents cited difficulties. Even in France, which had the lowest level of difficulty, 82 percent of executives reported recruiting challenges.

Executives were asked, "How challenging is it for your company to find skilled financial services professionals today?" Their responses:


Very challenging

Somewhat challenging

Net challenging

All countries

33%

56%

89%

Hong Kong

38%

57%

95%

Singapore

49%

45%

94%

Germany

36%

55%

91%

United Kingdom

29%

62%

91%

Canada

28%

62%

90%

United States

30%

54%

84%

France

15%

67%

82%

Added Owen, "Institutions around the world need staff who can manage fundamental business needs, drive profitability and ensure compliance mandates are met. Building a team with these skills has become increasingly difficult as firms face situations in which the demand for skilled professionals often outweighs the supply."

Employers' Retention Worries
With the hiring environment improving for financial services professionals who can fill roles in areas such as accounting and finance, operations support, revenue generation, and risk and compliance, employers around the globe are worried about losing their best and brightest to other opportunities. Eighty-three percent of financial services executives are at least somewhat concerned about their ability to hang on to top performers, the survey found.

The greatest worries appear to be in Hong Kong and Singapore, where 93 percent and 92 percent of respondents, respectively, cited concerns about losing good employees. In the seven countries surveyed, at least three-quarters of respondents expressed some level of concern.

Executives also were asked, "How concerned are you about losing top performers to other job opportunities in the next year?" Their responses:


Very concerned

Somewhat concerned

Net concerned

All countries

31%

52%

83%

Hong Kong

40%

53%

93%

Singapore

50%

42%

92%

Germany

21%

66%

87%

Canada

22%

62%

84%

United Kingdom

24%

59%

83%

United States

29%

48%

77%

France

21%

55%

76%

"A combination of factors, including heightened demand for skilled specialists in financial services, the growing need for regulatory expertise and operational changes taking place in the sector, may exacerbate current retention challenges," Owen said. "Employers will need to focus on competitive compensation, progressive perks and rewarding career paths to keep their best people."

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm. For more information about the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company, visit www.roberthalf.com.

SOURCE Robert Half

For further information: Michael Weiss, +1-925-913-2645, michael.weiss@rhi.com


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