New Survey Finds 12% of C-level Financial Sector Executives Plan to Hire Professional-level Staff in Q4

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Despite all the headlines about banks slashing thousands of jobs, there will be hiring for financial professionals, according to a new survey released today.

Twelve percent of c-level executives in the financial sector, which includes insurance and accounting, say they plan to hire professional level staff in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a survey conducted by the staffing firm, Robert Half International.

At the same time, seven percent said they are planning to make cutbacks, leaving the majority (81%) of financial sector hiring executives anticipating no change in professional staff levels.

Meanwhile, 59 percent of some 4,000 executives across all sectors said it is challenging to find skilled professionals today, up 17 points from the third quarter. Still fourth-quarter hiring projections were higher than the third-quarter forecast in nearly all professional segments.

The survey, titled the Robert Half Professional Employment Report is based on telephone interviews with C-level executives from a variety of fields throughout the United States, who are asked about their hiring plans and general level of optimism for the upcoming quarter.

Among its key findings are that:

-46 percent of executives said they are "very confident" in their organizations' ability to grow in the fourth quarter, and an equal number said they are "somewhat confident"

-And that the legal and marketing fields are expected to see the strongest hiring activity, with a net 24 percent of lawyers and 20 percent of marketing executives planning to increase staff.

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