Accounting, finance staff in demand

Accounting, finance and banking professionals are in hot demand right now as companies rush to get additional staff on board to meet their end-of-year deadlines.

A survey by recruitment firm Robert Half showed that 73 per cent of firms will be hiring more temporary staff and interim employees over the next few months to meet talent shortages.

Those prepared to work on an interim basis are "commanding top dollar", Robert Half said yesterday.

The firm polled 150 chief financial officers in Singapore and another 400 from Hong Kong, Japan and Britain and found that the level of demand in Singapore is the highest in three years.

The rush for temps stems from the need for companies to finalise their accounts before the end of the financial year and to kick-start strategies that will benefit their businesses in the new year, said Robert Half.

In Singapore, 73 per cent of firms said they have increased the number of interim professionals and temporary staff. This is above the increases in Hong Kong, Japan and Britain, where between 67 per cent and 69 per cent of the firms surveyed had boosted their ranks of temporary staff.

Robert Half Singapore managing director Stella Tang said: "Many companies find it easier to get approval for contract hires than it is to get approval to appoint more full-time employees. So when the workload increases, as it does at the end of the financial year, companies go into the employment market to temporarily beef up their teams.

"A growing number of employees prefer to work on a contract or interim basis as it gives them the flexibility to manage their family responsibilities or to use the time between projects to pursue other ambitions in their lives."

The practice is especially common among mid-sized firms here.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2015, with the headline 'Accounting, finance staff in demand'. Print Edition | Subscribe