The accounting and finance employment market in many parts of the world may be in a state of transition, a new study suggests. Financial leaders surveyed for the fifth annual Robert Half Global Financial Employment Monitor reported difficulties finding skilled staff and growing concern about their ability to hold on to their best employees.

Globally, two-thirds (67%) of respondents said it is either very or somewhat challenging today to find skilled accounting and finance professionals for certain jobs. Those surveyed also are more worried about keeping top performers than they were a year ago. Fifty-six per cent of financial leaders said they are at least somewhat concerned about retaining their staff in the coming year, up from 45% in 2010. UK executives are similarly concerned about the threat of losing top performers with 54% saying so in 2011, compared to 52% in 2010.

Phil Sheridan, Managing Director of Robert Half UK said, “It’s clear that the accounting and finance employment market is in a state of transition, with reported difficulties finding skilled staff and a growing concern among senior executives of how best to hold on to their star performers. Finding and retaining skilled professionals has become increasingly challenging, and candidate shortages are emerging in some specialist finance areas.”

The areas identified across the 19 countries as the hardest to recruit for are finance, accounting and operational support (e.g. accounts payable and payroll positions). Likewise in the UK, executives also indicate that finance roles are the hardest position to fill, followed by accounting and then audit.

About the Robert Half Global Financial Employment Monitor
The Global Financial Employment Monitor, based on the results of a survey developed by Robert Half International and conducted by independent research firms, includes responses from more than 6,000 financial executives and managers across 19 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. For a specific country’s statistics, please visit our press room for graphs and additional information.

The number of respondents varies by country and provides a representative sample of businesses in each. The results are within 95% certainty, and the overall margin of error is approximately +/- 1.4%.