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Half of CFOs maintaining headcount

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Local chief finance officers (CFOs) are confident of their business growth this year, with a third planning to increase headcount and half aiming to maintain current numbers.

Of the 300 CFOs and finance directors surveyed by Robert Half, 78% in commerce and industry and 83% in banking and finance services are confident of the country’s economic growth.

Internally, they are also confident of their organisation’s business growth, with 89% of those in commerce and industry and 85% of those in banking and financial services reporting so.

However, Stella Tang, director of Robert Half Singapore said, these strong outlooks are by no means an excuse for business leaders to “rest on their laurels”.

“Even those who are planning to maintain headcount over the next few months need to continuously invest in recruitment and retention programmes to ensure that they do not lose existing staff to other opportunities or miss out on top talent,” Tang said.

On the flipside of the survey, there is still a huge percentage of finance leaders who are concerned over staff retention this year.

Leaders in banking and finance (92%) were more worried about losing their top performers to other opportunities, as compared to 86% of commerce and industry leaders. Many were also concerned about talent attraction, with 94% of financial services leaders and 87% of commerce and industry leaders highlighting attraction as a major challenge.

“To help improve loyalty, employers need to remember there are other motivators beyond a good salary,” Tang said.

“For example, offering a clear career path, flexible work arrangements, and the opportunity to work with a mentor and in an environment where the employee can play a significant role in executing business strategy.”

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