The Employers' Holiday Wish: An Easy Hiring Process

With the holiday season underway, one item that may be on many employers’ wish lists is a great new hire, results from a recent Robert Half survey suggest. Sixty-two percent of CFOs reported difficulty finding skilled candidates for professional-level positions. Further, more than a third of respondents (35 percent) said that identifying talent is one of the greatest challenges faced by management.

CFOs were asked, “In general, how challenging is it for your company to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions today?” Their responses:

Very challenging


Somewhat challenging


Not challenging


Don’t know/no answer




CFOs were also asked, “Which one of the following is your company’s greatest challenge when it comes to hiring and managing staff?” Their responses:

Maintaining employee morale and productivity


Finding skilled workers


Managing difficult employees


Retaining staff




Following are some of the toughest positions to staff across key industries, according to Robert Half:

Accounting and Finance

  • Controller

  • Financial analyst

  • Senior accountant

Administrative and Office Support

  • Certified professional coder

  • Executive assistant

  • Office manager

Creative and Marketing

  • Front-end web developer

  • User Experience designer

  • Visual designer


  • Compliance manager

  • Contract administrator

  • Corporate paralegal


  • Help desk and technical support professional

  • Software engineer

  • Web and software developer

“Companies continue to face a shortage of job candidates with specialized skills,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “To find professionals with in-demand expertise, hiring managers should tap every available resource, including their networks, current employees and specialized recruiters.”

McDonald added, “Businesses struggling to identify suitable applicants should re-evaluate what they’re offering and how they’re selling their company. In today’s competitive hiring market, skilled professionals may receive multiple job offers and can be enticed by a comprehensive compensation package, positive corporate culture and work-life balance perks.”

Robert Half offers four ways businesses can attract skilled candidates:

  1. Be flexible. Create a list of must-have attributes and certifications for each available position – and those that can be learned on the job. Keep your eyes open for applicants who demonstrate an eagerness to learn and take on new challenges.

  2. Outline a plan. Discuss career paths with job seekers during interviews so they understand where they fit into the organization’s long-term goals. Present training and development opportunities available at your company so they are aware of new skills that can be acquired once hired.   

  3. Show them the money. To attract professionals with in-demand skills, offer attractive pay and perks. Benchmark compensation trends in your area by consulting resources such as industry reports and the Salary Guides from Robert Half.

  4. Promote a healthy balance. Accommodate employees’ lifestyle needs by offering work-from-home options, flexible schedules and additional vacation time, as appropriate.

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