In Pursuit of Profit
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The accounting and finance employment landscape looks much different these days than it did back in 2019. Companies looking to hire into accounting and finance roles, or retain their existing financial staff, must be aware of the current hiring trends affecting their employees.
Across accounting and finance salaries are changing, benefits expectations are evolving, and new skillsets are being preferred by hiring managers.
Find out more about what we are seeing on the front lines in this 2021/2022 accounting and finance hiring guide:
While swaths of employees across all professions were furloughed or took pay cuts in early in the pandemic, nationwide salary levels have largely returned to pre-pandemic levels. And in accounting and finance salaries have further increased as the demand for skilled professionals has increased.
In many instances salaries for existing accounting and finance employees have increased as a retention strategy to compensate these individuals for the extra work that has been added to their plates over the last year. And salaries for new postings are higher than what they would have been just 12-24 months ago because of the ongoing labor shortage that has plagued every industry.
In fact, the most in-demand accounting and finance careers are projected to see a 4-16% growth in salaries over the next 10 years, with Controllers and Accounting Managers seeing the sharpest increases. While regional differences exist (especially among major metropolitan areas) the trend is clear: accounting and finance salaries are increasing!
New Benefits Expectations
Salaries are not all that has changed over the last year. All the usual benefits (health insurance, paid time off, performance bonuses, and the like) have remained important for job seekers, although new benefits are emerging as the “make it or break it” criteria for job seekers.
New employee expectations around remote work and flexible work schedules are finding their way into job postings and offer negotiations. These types of considerations are no longer being viewed as optional perks - remote work is now the norm, and many applicants are requiring it as a condition for employment. And it does not end there. Flexible work schedule perks are now becoming more commonplace as well.
Simply put, many applicants are unabashedly demanding that future employers offer them to provide a more favorable work-life balance. This should not be overlooked when making offers to your top candidates because these factors are just as likely to sway their decision as compensation-related components.
With cost reduction at the forefront of many post-pandemic business strategies, accounting and finance positions have been in high demand over the last year. This trend does not seem to be changing anytime soon, with cost accountant and FP&A (financial planning and analysis) job postings, in particular, seeing a sustained uptick in recent months.
Even among more generalized accounting and finance roles, hiring preference seems to be favoring professionals with more forecasting experience, to provide the critical insights that companies need for tactical decision making. In particular, industries like logistics, financial services, healthcare, and construction have made a strong hiring push for individuals with FP&A experience, as they have experienced considerable growth throughout the pandemic. Additionally, government departments and nonprofit organizations have seen their FP&A needs change with the political and societal changes that have occurred over the last year, requiring that they bring in more (or more experienced) finance professionals.
Along with an increased focus on FP&A, the pandemic accelerated the shift toward adding automation in accounting and finance, which has increased the demand for more technologically savvy professionals across both departments. As a result, recruiters are now prioritizing accounting and finance resumes that show greater digital proficiency through software, app, and industry tool experience.
The distribution of pay grade levels has been affected by the pandemic as well, with larger growth in senior-level roles over entry-level or mid-level roles. This is especially true in public accounting, where Tax Managers, Audit Managers, and Senior Accountants are in short supply because corporate accounting roles are luring them away with higher salary offers.
Additionally, mid-sized organizations looking for strategic guidance to weather ongoing challenges and market fluctuations seem to be more apt to “hire up” than ever before, opting to create senior leadership roles like CFOs and Controllers to provide overarching management of business finances where they had not previously existed.
If you need to hire accounting or finance professionals, please reach out to us. We are a contingent recruiting firm that specializes in finding well-qualified accounting and finance professionals to fill mid-to-management roles. Let us help you find your next top performer!