Q1 2023 – Is the Shift starting to hit the Fan?
For the past 12 months most recruiters have been predicting some degree of slow down…
And through 2022 it just never came…
Demand for Qualified accountancy and finance remained consistently fierce on both a permanent and interim basis…. There was constant upward pressure on salaries and competition in a tight candidate market raged fiercely.
So the initial signs from Dec 2022 and Jan to date are suggesting we might just have climbed over the peak of the mountain.
The report from REC and KPMG this morning suggests permanent appointments were DOWN last month and SALARY PRESSURE has settled at a plateau.
Some recruiters will feel a sense of panic at the figures…. My guess is some of the more seasoned recruiters in our market will actually breathe a tentative sigh of relief!!!
The market has been CHAOS! So much demand and so little candidate availability has made it a very odd market for the last 2 years+.
So if you are a business expecting recruitment needs in your finance team this year on a permanent or project basis this is also potentially welcome news…
BUT HERE’s THE RUB!!!
Candidate numbers are still DOWN – the remain ultra LOW!
Why – well lots of movement means people are settling into new roles, it was tight anyway (Brexit?!) and add to that some caution around cost of living, recession headlines and lower vacancy numbers!
So you might not be competing with 20 businesses for 5 candidates…. But you might be competing with 10 for 3 is my gut feeling this year…. So however you slice the pie it still might not be a walk in the park!
We aren’t seeing mass redundancies or sudden swathes of applicants… it’s still hard work getting your person!
So what can you be doing?
1) Keep hold of your good people this year. It’s so simple but retention is the cheapest form of recruitment. Are your salaries market competitive? Are you benefits? Are your communication channels open? (1-2-1s, appraisal and review discussions etc etc)
2) When you recruit be brutally clear in terms of the skills you actually need. Take time to spec it out.
3) Be fastidious when it comes to describing what you offer – your culture, your progression opportunity, the reasons great people should work for you…. Listen to your current team – why have they stayed? What do they rate? Then SHOUT ABOUT IT!
4) Make your recruitment process slick and MAKE IT A PRIORITY. Be decisive, don’t cancel meetings, don’t dawdle, don’t lowball – when you see someone you rate make every effort to engage them and get them over the line.
5) Be HONEST – if you are partnering with a recruiter or speaking to candidates directly you should be candid! If there are cash issues then you should tell the new FC before they get there! If there are challenges with the current team and they need lots of intense mentoring then put that on the table early doors.
Getting recruitment right in 2023 will be slightly easier that 2022 by the looks of things…. businesses that do it well will take the best talent.
Thanks as always for reading! If you would be keen to discuss recruitment needs or the A&F job market at any stage it would be great to speak on 01246 541 927.