Global survey: Dubai finance leaders most confident about growth & recruitment

12 March 2012
  • A net 69% of CFOs plan to add accounting and finance staff in the first half of 2012
  • 91% find it challenging to find skilled finance professionals

Dubai, 12 March 2012 – An astounding nine in 10 (91%) Dubai finance executives are more confident in their country’s growth prospects compared with last year, the strongest level of confidence expressed worldwide, according to a recent survey by recruitment specialist Robert Half UAE. 

Seventy-two per cent of Dubai CFOs are planning to increase their permanent finance and accounting headcount and 3% expect declines – a net 69% increase. Rising workloads and mergers and acquisitions were the the primary reasons cited for adding staff.

The survey was conducted by Robert Half UAE, the world’s first and largest recruitment consultancy specialising in the placement of accounting and finance professionals and member of the S&P 500. It is based on more than 2,500 interviews with CFOs worldwide, including 75 in Dubai.

Confidence Levels

Finance leaders in Dubai share top spot with Brazil as the most confident in their country’s growth prospects for the forthcoming year, compared with their international counterparts. Ninety-one per cent of CFOs are more confident than they were last year, with China (87%), Hong Kong (82%) and Chile (79%) also showing very strong signs of assurance. 

Looking at their company’s growth prospects, Dubai executives are third most confident at 89%, behind Brazil (97%) and China (93%) yet ahead of Austria (87%), Singapore (86%) and Chile (84%), among others.

Hiring Forecast

Dubai executives expect very robust hiring in the first half of 2012 with nearly three in four (72%) finance executives planning on adding staff and 3% expecting declines – a net 69% increase and the highest forecast worldwide. Other countries expecting buoyant finance and accounting hiring include China (net 50% increase), Brazil (45%) and Germany (32%), as well as Australia, Japan and Singapore, (23%) respectively. 

More than half (57%) of Dubai finance leaders cited rising workloads as the top reason for adding additional permanent staff, followed by one in four (26%) who attribute it to mergers and acquisitions.

James Sayer, associate director, Robert Half UAE said, “Confidence levels are high amongst executives who are looking for highly strategic and commercially-focused professionals to help leverage business growth opportunities. Workloads persist and additional M&A activity is resulting in increased demand for skilled finance professionals.”

The strong hiring forecast also has its downsides, with nine in 10 (91%) Dubai executives indicating they are challenged in finding skilled finance and accounting professionals today. Other countries with hiring challenges include Germany (81%), Australia (80%), China (79%) and the UK (79%). As such, nearly nine in 10 (89%) finance leaders are concerned about losing top financial performers to other job opportunities in the next year.

Sayer continues, “Unfortunately demand outweighs supply and CFOs are reporting difficulties in sourcing the talent they require, particularly in the finance and compliance functions. Executives are therefore conscious about re-recruiting top performers to ensure they have the required resources to achieve targeted growth prospects throughout the year.”


About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy; a member of the S&P 500 and #1 in our industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s “World's Most Admired Companies” list (2015). Founded in 1948, the company has over 340 offices worldwide, including the UAE, providing recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal, human resources and administration professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and job seeker resources at


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