Take advantage of the current A&F job market

 In Accountancy, Blog, Uncategorised

At ARG we have just completed H1 of Year 5… and it’s been a 6 months like no other. The requirement in mid market has been unprecedented and vacancy numbers were higher than ever before, we had to buy a new job board. Extreme market conditions that I personally haven’t experienced in 15+ years of qualified accountancy recruitment. 

We all know the sketch it’s vacancy heavy and candidate light – so it’s super busy. 

Unless you’ve been spending your time in a spacecraft with Elon et al you know how it looks out there so I won’t further erode the pathway that is the market summary. 

But what I thought might be useful is a summary of how some of the more astute candidates are taking advantage of the current conditions and how you might…

1)     Get into a commercially focused finance role. In the last 6 months we have seen a massive spike in requirements for Commercial FCs, Finance Business Partners and Commercial Accountants. Proper ones… not glorified management accounting but bona fide business facing, added value positions where your focus is away from the month end grind… make a difference stuff. 

In ‘normal’ job markets these roles are extremely fiercely competed for. If you’re a financial accountant / finance manager or even a management accountant it can be a catch 22 – you can’t get the FBP role because you don’t do much business partnering… 

Right now you have as good a chance of any of getting into a shortlist and getting an interview – you might have to step sideways on salary but this step is so so so valuable if you want to take your career in this direction and away from ‘techy or dry roles’…

2)     Change sectors. Similarly to above you can find yourself sector trapped in normal markets… you want to get into manufacturing but you’ve never been in it…

Now is a great time to explore new roles – you can more easily escape a perceived pigeon hole because clients are becoming more open minded in terms of profiles they will consider… 

3)     For the more mercenary out there let’s be blunt – someone will probably pay you at least 10% more to do the same job in a similar business.  Let’s say you are a management accountant, you like doing management accounts and you just fancy a change – I’d have a flutter on Betfair that you can get someone to put their hand into a deep pocket for your skills right now. 

4)     Move closer to home or find hybrid working. When we speak to jobseekers for the first time they often want to be in a 30 mins commute from home. In a quiet market this is one of the first factors that tends to flex – they begin to look in an hour radius fairly quickly if their search doesn’t turn up an exciting role. Right now every region is on green when it comes to vacancy numbers…. Take advantage – reduce your commute. Also ask for hybrid working – drive the agenda of your own work life balance. 

5)     Think of future you – get into a business you want to work in. This might sound so obvious and a bit twee but when it’s busy you have choice… pick a culture you like and a business you see yourself in in 5 – 10 years.  A business that has the right career options, the right internal values… moving when your stock is high and the market is busy gives you chance to be objective…. 

The job market is like the housing market – sometimes it’s sluggish and sometimes its on fire – right now it’s still on bright green. 

This will change. 

I can’t emphasise this enough… when it seems like a trend is unstoppable that’s when it is usually at it’s most vulnerable and fragile.  What goes up and all that…..

I really hope the job market stays this buoyant – but please don’t be surprised if the situation inverts & the exciting roles dry up quicker than you expect.  

Thanks as always for reading! Have a super weekend.

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