In Pursuit of Profit
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Want to know more about accounting recruiting? You’ve come to the right place! Our team of experienced accounting and finance recruiters is sharing some industry information to help you better understand today’s recruiting climate.
We have hundreds of conversations every day with business leaders, hiring managers, and fellow recruiters and have distilled down those discussions to give you the most important takeaways about today’s job market. Our goal is to give you the information you need to enter the hiring process with confidence and make smart hiring decisions.
We hope you enjoy this accounting recruiting guide and if you have any questions, please reach out to us for more information!
Recruiters Use Other Recruiters When They Need Help Finding Candidates
Highly experienced recruiters often play clean up when their recruiter peers cannot bring in qualified candidates. That is no secret.
But what you may not know is that recruiters sometimes turn to other recruiters earlier in the process when they need help filling a role that may give them trouble. This is especially true for roles that require licensure and specialized job openings. For instance, when hiring a CPA, a generalized recruiter may find themselves striking out and turn to an accounting recruiter for industry-focused help.
As the job market has tightened over the last two years, this has become more commonplace. In fact, some accounting and finance recruiters these days are finding that most (or even all) of their revenue is being driven by business passed on by other recruiters. And, on the flip side of that coin, some general recruiting companies have stopped attempting their own recruiting for specialized roles like accountants and finance analysts altogether, opting instead to partner with accounting and finance recruiting companies to outsource these searches to them from the start.
Salaries are Soaring
Accounting and finance candidates are getting more offers than ever before, which gives them extraordinary bargaining power when it comes to negotiating salaries and benefits packages. As a result, employers who have not hired an accountant in the last 5+ years are being hit with sticker shock when they find out how much they will need to pay for the experience level they want in their open role. This is especially true for employers that are looking for certain credentials, like CPA licenses, or specific experience, like a background in tax or audit.
Recruiters are having more conversations now about compensation with their clients than they could have anticipated because competitive benefits packages have increased significantly in value (even amid employer pushback). Our colleagues at CFO Selections remind us that recruiting top talent requires an understanding that,
Savvy candidates will not only seek out offers with an attractive base salary and benefits package, but they will also take a forward-looking approach and weigh the possibility of future compensation in the form of annual raises, performance incentives, and retention bonuses... Our recruiting team estimates that 50-70% of employers are going to need to expand their existing salary offers to continue to be competitive in the market.
Furthermore, compensation has become more complicated with employees expecting benefits that are not strictly financial, such as remote work opportunities and additional allotted time off to create a better work-life balance.
Candidates are More Selective These Days
The hiring pinch that has developed since the pandemic hit in 2020 is in part because there are fewer accountants to go around. However, the shortage of accountants is not the only factor to blame. Candidates themselves are also contributing to the accounting talent war because today’s hiring market is getting increasingly selective. The increased likelihood of evaluating multiple offers simultaneously has driven employers to up their compensation packages in an attempt to stand out from the crowd. With more offers in hand, candidates can ask for more, feeding the ongoing cycle of selectivity.
But that is not the only scenario where the trend is moving towards candidates being more selective. Obviously, candidates who are actively searching for a new role have the opportunity to be more selective. However, there is another group with the prerogative to be highly selective – accountants that are already gainfully employed and happy in their current roles. As the hiring market has gotten more competitive, headhunters have been targeting highly experienced accounting and finance professionals more than ever before. That means that even satisfied, seasoned employees are being approached with offers in an attempt to poach top talent. These candidates are in the best position to be selective because they can sit confidently in their existing roles waiting for the perfect offer to come along and convince them to make a change.
Underqualified Accountants are Keeping Employers Up at Night
Today’s conversations are not simply focused on a dearth of potential candidates, they also frequently broach the topic of apprehension around qualifications. So, if you are feeling the burden of hiring amid trepidation, you are not alone! Employers with new job openings are overwhelmingly concerned about whether they will be able to find qualified candidates to fill their open roles.
Some of this concern may be based around the increase in top career professionals stepping back from their careers as part of The Great Resignation that we have experienced. A significant number of late-career accountants have stepped back from full-time work or retired in the wake of the pandemic as part of a prioritization of their own health and happiness. And in doing so, they have taken their wealth of experience with them. Of course, any time a highly experienced professional leaves, an employer is going to be nervous about replacing them. However, with today’s heighted business demands the stakes are even higher. As a result, employers across the board are worried that their newest accounting and finance hires are going to fall short of expectations because in their early or mid-career stages they simply may not have the battle-tested business skills needed to succeed in these tumultuous times. But without any quick fix solution in sight, an employer’s only option is to invest in their newest hires to set them up for success and help develop them professionally.
The Traditional Office Setting is Dead
If this information is not new to you, great! However, you would be surprised to find out how many clients we speak with that still want employees in the office full-time or the majority of the time. Now, contrast that with the number of candidates that we speak with who will not consider an offer unless it includes either flexible work arrangements or a full-time remote option, and you will understand why so many employers are having a tough time getting a solid batch of qualified candidates for their job postings. And with candidates trending towards being more selective because they are often evaluating multiple job offers simultaneously, the traditional office work accountants were once known for is likely never going to return.
The way we used to work is gone and what has replaced it is a less rigid working arrangement that aims to meet individual employees’ needs and preferences. While many managers would still like to have their employees within arms reach to retain more control over the work they are doing, employees are now in a position where they can advocate for themselves to find a better work-life balance to fit their unique needs. Whether it is being present in their children’s lives, providing care for a parent, making their own mental health a priority, or simply desiring to work alone, candidates expect that their employer will be respectful of their wishes when it comes to how and when they work.
When you need to hire an accountant please reach out to us. We specialize in the placement of mid-to-management level accounting and finance professionals across a variety of industries. Find out how we can find the right candidate for your company’s open role!