Where Recruiting Is Most Difficult: The Top 5 Cities

CFOs across the United States are reporting recruiting challenges, but what does it mean and which cities are feeling it most?

Robert Half recently released new research that reveals businesses are having a particularly hard time finding skilled professional-level job candidates, especially in these five cities:

  • Miami: 77 percent*

  • Philadelphia: 74 percent

  • New York: 73 percent

  • Detroit: 72 percent

  • St. Louis: 72 percent

* CFOs who said it is either somewhat or very challenging to recruit skilled professional-level candidates.

View the complete research results here

Why these five cities? Well, I checked in with some of our recruiting experts to find out what makes finding skilled candidates in some of these markets so difficult.

In general, the overall unemployment rate recently dropped to 5.6 percent, the lowest level since June 2008, and it's is even lower for specialized positions. (For example, the unemployment rate for financial analysts in the fourth quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was 1.0 percent.) 


In the Miami metropolitan area — which includes Miami, Coral Gables and Fort Lauderdale where Robert Half has offices — the unemployment rate was at 5.5 percent in November 2014, compared with 6.3 percent around the same time the previous year.

"The Miami area is currently experiencing a candidate-driven market, where highly sought-after professionals have many opportunities and companies are finding themselves in bidding wars to land these individuals," said Robert Half District President Ryan Skubis, Robert Half district president in Miami. 

Stephanie Naznitsky, regional manager for Robert Half in Philadelphia, said that in her area there's "a war for talent."

Stephanie went on to explain: "With the unemployment rate at 1 percent to 4 percent for accounting and finance positions and job openings hitting a 13-year high, job seekers have more choices, which is resulting in multiple offers for top candidates. In addition, the market is more competitive than we’ve seen it in recent years, due to an increase in production in the manufacturing sector, regulatory issues in financial services and the increase in demand for general staff and senior accountants.”

Photograph credits: Miami's Ocean Drive, Wikimedia CommonsPhiladelphia's Liberty Bell, Wikimedia Commons.