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Financial chiefs concerned about skills shortages

2 December 2010

Shortage of the right skills remains an issue for public sector organisations, with 43% of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) working in the public sector saying they will need specific skills in the organisation to support transformation and 21% expecting to see skills shortages as a result of the cuts. This is according to a new survey, of over 100 public sector CFOs, from Hays Senior Finance.

Donna Clarke, Director of Hays Senior Finance, the leading recruiting expert says: “CFOs recognise the need to recruit and retain people with the right skills to get them through these difficult times. Many financial leaders believe their organisations will face major challenges following the CSR and they believe changes to benefits packages, such as pensions, will increase the loss of talented professionals.”

The survey finds almost a fifth (18%) of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) working in the public sector believe the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) will be greater than expected. Donna Clarke says: “Keeping staff engaged and motivated at a time when there is much uncertainty will be key in achieving required savings, whilst improving services. Many CFOs have already taken action to improve morale and motivation by informing employees of changes, ensuring the top team is visible and regularly communicating with individuals across the organisation to ensure they understand reasons for change and input where necessary.”

Financial leaders in the public sector say they will continue to face major challenges with regards to workforce planning over the next financial year, despite most of them being proactive and making changes to workforce strategy ahead of the anticipated cuts. They say the greatest challenges over the next financial year include increased service demand (34%) and restructuring (31%).

Donna adds: “Public sector financial leaders have a huge role to play in making sure their organisations are successful and achieve the required budget cuts but also in terms of implementing new ways of working, in order to achieve a more prosperous and sustainable future.”

Find out more information about Hays Senior Finance.

About the survey
Over 100 CFOs were surveyed in November 2010.
About Hays
Hays plc (the "Group") is the leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

As at 30 June 2010, the Group employed 6,845 staff operating from 270 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2010:
–    the Group reported net fees of £557.7 million and operating profit of £80.5 million;
–    the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 180,000 people into temporary assignments;
–    26% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 30% in Continental Europe & RoW and 44% in the United Kingdom & Ireland
–    the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;
–    Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and the United Kingdom.

For further press information please contact:
Emma Price or Claire Fowler
T. 020 7259 8821