The Employer's Holiday Wish List: An Easy Hiring Process

More than Half of Canadian CFOs Report Difficulty Finding Highly Skilled Professionals

Toronto, ON — 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. Fifty-six per cent of Canadian CFOs reported difficulty finding skilled candidates for professional-level positions. Further, nearly a third of respondents (30 per cent) 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/ not applicable




*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.


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


Retaining staff


Managing difficult employees


Don’t know




*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

Following are the toughest positions to fill across a sampling of industries, according to Robert Half:

Accounting and Finance

  • Accounting manager
  • Accounts payable / accounts receivable supervisor
  • Controller

Administrative and Office Support

  • Executive assistants
  • Front desk staff
  • Project coordinators

Creative and Marketing

  • Front-end web developer
  • Mobile designer
  • UX designer


  • Litigation law clerk
  • Lease assistant  
  • Real estate lawyer


  • Database professionals
  • Developers
  • Network security professionals


“Finding professionals with specialized skills continues to prove a challenge for companies,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “Hiring managers need to get creative, and consult a variety of resources when searching for their next employee; consider using specialized recruiters, ask for recommendations from staff, and reach out to an extended network for help.”

Candidates with in-demand skills may have multiple job offers, so it’s important to reflect on how you’re selling your company to candidates, and make an effort to enhance your business’ appeal, added Scileppi. “Market your company as a great place to work with unique work-life balance options, an inclusive benefits package, and an engaging corporate culture that supports the career development and success of its employees.”

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. 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.
  3. Outline a plan. Discuss career paths with job seekers during the interview 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 attained once they’ve been hired.   
  4. Promote a healthy balance. Accommodate employees’ lifestyle needs by offering work-from-home options, flexible schedules and additional vacation time, as appropriate.


About the Survey

The survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in Canada.

About Robert Half
Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has more than 325 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search and management tools at For career and management advice, follow our blog at Follow @RobertHalf_CAN for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]