Are Detroit Companies Ready to Out-Hire Companies in Houston, NYC and Miami?

Is Detroit hiring really about to take off? The news flow out of Detroit was grim for longer than most major cities during the economic recovery, but a fresh report may indicate that things are on the up. The Detroit Professional Employment Forecast from Robert Half indicated that 25% of chief financial officers (CFOs) surveyed in the Detroit area reported their companies will be creating new jobs in the next six months.

Where this report is getting interesting is that Detroit was at the top of the list in Robert Half’s survey on 20 local geographies. Detroit was tied with Philadelphia at 25%, but if the CFO survey is accurate, the it outshines great markets such as Houston, Dallas New York, Miami, Atlanta Salt Lake City and more.

Some 68% of finance executives in Detroit said they will be maintaining personnel levels, so they will hire only to fill vacated positions — and only 1% plan to reduce staff levels. The Professional Employment Forecast was developed by Robert Half and was based on interviews with 100 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in the Detroit area with 20 or more employees.

The Detroit survey results suggest organizations looking to expand and add staff may face difficulties and challenges. Some 72% of CFOs surveyed said that it is at least somewhat challenging to find skilled candidates for professional-level positions today.

Some 92% of CFOs expressed confidence in their own company’s growth potential for the next six months. Also, some 54% of CFOs said they are more willing to negotiate salaries than they were 12 months ago.

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Robin Ankton, who is regional president for Robert Half in Detroit, said:

The current economic climate in Detroit is one of optimism, and companies who want to capitalize on that growth potential cannot afford to go without a strong staff in place. The competition for talent is well under way, and hiring managers must bring in highly skilled people now to position themselves for success over the next six months.

Note that this Detroit survey is only one city of many that Robert Half issued this report for. Also note that a sample of 100 CFOs is not a national or even regional benchmark that would have perfect statistical precision. Still, what stood out was that Robert Half’s news releases covered 20 major metro areas, and Detroit tied Philadelphia at the 25% of CFOs wanting to hire. Other key cities with strength were as follows:

  • Houston, 24%
  • Miami/Fort Lauderdale, 23%
  • New York City and Atlanta, 22%
  • Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, 20%