Robert Half forecast says Chicago CFOs optimistic about business growth

Chicago executives forecast that professional-level hiring will be on the upswing in the next six month, the recently released "Chicago Professional Employment Forecast" from Robert Half said.

In fact, 17 percent of area chief financial officers said their companies would be creating new jobs - a 6-point increase over the previous six months. Additionally, 70 percent expect to hire for other various open positions.

Robert Half is the world's first and largest specialized staffing firm. The study was developed using a two-period rolling average based on interviews with 200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in the Chicago area with 20 or more employees.

When asked, "What are your company's hiring plans for full-time, professional-level employees in the next six months?" Their responses included:

- 11-17 percent said they would be expanding and adding new positions

- 70-76 percent said they would be maintaining (filling only vacant positions)

- 10-11 percent said they would be not filling vacated positions or creating new ones

- 2-3 percent said they would be eliminating positions. 

"The war for talent is in full force in Chicago, as evidenced by a growing number of employers who've consolidated their hiring process and are placing additional emphasis on retaining top talent," Robert Half District President Marilyn Bird said.

Robert Half's research showed companies looking to add staff may face challenges with finding skilled candidates for professional-level positions. To combat this, some companies are upping salaries and benefits. In fact, the survey showed 31 percent of Chicago CFOs had modified their company's compensation plans in the last 12 months to attract and retain qualified candidates.

In general, CFOs throughout Chicago are optimistic about their companies' futures - 92 percent said they were somewhat or very confident about the prospects for growth over the next six months.

Founded in 1948, Robert Half is based in Menlo Park, California, and has more than 340 staffing locations worldwide as well as offering online job search and management tools at 

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