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How to find top finance and accounting talent in a tightening talent market

The job market in the United Kingdom is in the midst of a full recovery. In March, KPMG reported that this was the month with the strongest recruitment performance since August 2018. Clearly, this means that candidates with the right skills in this field will be in high demand.

As a finance leader, you need to take a look at the current state of the job market and develop new strategies to attract and retain top Finance and Accounting talent to face the demands of the new working world.

What’s affecting the market for Finance and Accounting talent?

Lifting effects and impacts of the pandemic

As we all know, accounting is a service-based industry. The individuals engaging in this industry offer their expertise and services to clients, and they play a vital role in ensuring the financial stability of any company.

It’s no surprise then that the coronavirus pandemic and its resulting lockdown restrictions did not have a huge effect on the accounting industry, as most of the individuals working in this industry were safe from losing their job or being furloughed.

However, for finance leaders looking to scale up their operations there is a unique opportunity to court the brightest accounting talent in the industry. Amongst many candidates there is currently a pent-up desire to move jobs due to less uncertainty about job security in new roles, affected bonuses, promotions or pay increases, etc.

The most in-demand candidates are probably in full-time employment and are now looking at not only remuneration but also ongoing remote or flexible working options as part of their search criteria. You can use this to your advantage when selecting a new recruit for your company.

New reliance and opportunities presented by technology

Everyone in the workplace has had to use technology to adjust their work life and carry out their duties remotely or from home. This poses some benefits and some drawbacks for accounting firms looking to hire new recruits.

As an advantage, the accounting firms can now hire a candidate from virtually anywhere in the world, as the work can now be done online and collaboration with other employees or clients can be done over the Internet. This means that hiring managers don’t have to set a geographical limit on their search when looking for new hires.

Being able to hire from a global talent pool may sound enticing, but this approach also has its disadvantages. Naturally, it’s much more challenging to have new employees go through an effective onboarding process remotely, which could delay them coming up to speed with the company’s tasks, objectives, and company culture and are also slower to integrate with teams. However, with remote working now so the norm, many strong candidates will be able to overcome these obstacles with well-developed communication skills.

Effective recruitment strategies and practices for Finance and Accounting

Traditionally, bookkeepers managed the accounts, auditors performed reviews, and CFOs supervised the company's financial operations. However, due to the exponential development of technology, tasks in today's business environment are not so clear-cut.

In today's world, finance careers need more than just the skill to calculate numeric values after all, they have software that will do that. Firms are looking for financial services experts who can extract profound value from financial data by interpreting it in novel ways and assisting in its use in a wider market framework.

This necessitates a synthesis of expertise spanning corporate administration, logistics, data analytics, technology, and other fields, skills that most current finance specialists haven't had the time and resources to learn. The skills gap emphasises the importance of developing a good workplace identity that is appealing to the finest and best minds in the industry, this will be one of the keenest weapons in your recruiting arsenal.

In order to attract the top Finance and Accounting talent amidst a talent shortage, you’ll need to leverage your employer branding effectively, create accurate and engaging job descriptions and adverts and market them effectively.

Creating a fully-realised strategy will help you streamline your recruitment efforts and ensure you are getting the volume of candidates you need applying to your roles. One great way to ensure this is done efficiently is to engage a specialist Finance and Accounting recruiter.

At Edward Mann, we would be happy to offer bespoke support to help you find the essential skills required during your Finance and Accounting recruitment efforts. With our database and deep networks, we are also able to source high-calibre candidates to suit the specific needs of your business goals to make sure you don’t miss out in the future.

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