Monday, January 3, 2011

Survey: Executives face greater job demands today than five years ago

More than 80 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) recently interviewed said they believe it’s more difficult to be a company leader today than it was five years ago.
“Because of dramatic changes in the business landscape in recent years, executives are facing additional pressures as they attempt to keep service levels high and position their companies for growth,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half Management Resources.

“A variety of new challenges – from smaller employee teams to uncertainty about new health care and financial regulations to economic concerns – is making it more difficult to be a business leader today,” McDonald said.

CFOs were asked, “Do you think it’s more or less challenging to be a company leader in today’s business environment versus five years ago?”

* Significantly more challenging – 31%
* Somewhat more challenging – 50%
* No change – 14%
* Somewhat less challenging – 3%
* Much less challenging – 1%
* Don’t know – 1%

“As firms have reduced staff levels, managers have fewer employees to rely upon," McDonald said. "Some companies are hiring selectively to fill personnel gaps and bringing in project consultants who have the experience necessary to help them address critical priorities.”

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, a Menlo Park, CA-based provider of senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from more than 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

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