How’s the Accountancy Job Market Looking? – 2024.
Good! Back to normal… ish …. But normal is good!
As with every Dec / Jan we have had lots of calls and emails from people weighing up their career options. Qualified finance professionals considering their next step and keen to understand how the job market feels and importantly what is the outlook for the year ahead.
As the pandemic proved, nothing is certain and the weird and wonderful can always throw a big spanner into the spokes – but as it stands the current job market and the outlook for the foreseeable are pretty healthy.
The REC, ONS and KPMG Jobs reports will show vacancy volume is slowing down. The stats unquestionably show that job numbers are lower than H1 2023, there are more ‘candidates on the market’ and salary inflation has reached a plateau.
But that ‘market decline’ info has to be taken alongside the context that we have just come out of a 24 period of unprecedented demand. Literally more vacancies being posted than ever before in history and major double digit YoY salary inflation. So yes, it has steadied – but from a massive peak.
And job volume certainly hasn’t fallen from a cliff in our market – it’s been calmer but still solid. There is a firm platform of job availability and a reassuring flow of interesting and exciting new vacancies hitting recruiter’s desks as we come into Q1 2024. Client optimism is good and forecasts seem positive.
There is still reasonably fierce competition for strong qualified candidates which underpins healthy salaries & packages.
It’s still pretty buoyant – not hectic, not chaotic, not wild west – but all gravy.
In terms of outlook – well we don’t current envisage any major change – there is no obvious signal of a dramatic fall off in job numbers or job quality… in fact the dial points toward another run on demand rather than a slowdown as it stands. Anecdotally week 1 of 2024 was really busy in terms of new job specs landing.
Lots of clients took a holding pattern approach and nudged recruitment down the track where they could in H2 2023, PE and VC activity was cautious…. and that coiled spring of need will no doubt be sprung at some stage this year or perhaps next.
All likelihood suggests that this will be a year of BAU – until election time when we will then see changes which will trigger new conditions, new decisions and sudden disruption… Probably another bull run of jobs when the political landscape shifts.
If a recession arises then candidates usually become more cautious and that might still happen in 2024. If we avoid the R word then this year will probably see steady candidate flow and solid job flow which tends to feed standard salary inflation which will track cost of living inflation – a year of ‘normality’… whatever the hell that is??!!!
If you have recruitment needs in finance or are considering your own career journey in 2024, as always, it would be great to speak!
Thanks for reading – we hugely appreciate it!