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Economy picking up – but CFOs aren't hiring

2012 is off to a good start with senior finance professionals sharing increased optimism in the market – although that's not translating into hiring intentions.

2012 is off to a good start with senior finance professionals sharing increased optimism in the market – although that's not translating into hiring intentions.

Of 200 New Zealand CFOs and finance directors surveyed by Robert Half, 79 percent shared confidence in New Zealand’s economic growth prospects in 2012. This figure compares similarly with findings across the Tasman: 77 per cent of Australian senior finance professionals reported economic confidence in the next 12 months.

And 87 percent of Kiwi respondents had confidence in their company’s growth prospects in 2012.

But the results suggest New Zealand businesses are a lot more cautious than our Australian neighbours with 13 per cent planning to hire new finance and accounting staff in New Zealand, versus 44 per cent in Australia.

Robert Half director, Andrew Brushfield, said the low hiring predictions in New Zealand are surprising.

“Where there is currently a need for skilled people in Australia, that need is just as prolific in New Zealand. Small to medium businesses in particular who tightened their wallets in recent years to ride out the tough climate, now recognise the time is right to invest in their business and staff.”

Those who are planning to hire reported two main reasons for increasing the workforce – to tackle rising workloads and facilitate business growth.