The Only Way Is Up!… Maybe…

 In Accountancy, Blog, Featured

What does H1 look like?

Gut feeling – your recruitment is likely to be marginally easier that it was in 2021…

but very marginally……

…and with a thousand caveats!!

The recent REC and KPMG reports (released 13th Jan) alongside ONS data suggest that placement numbers are at record highs, vacancy numbers remain close to record highs and candidate availability sits close to record lows….

But they also note that all are trending very slightly backwards.

It’s slight, but it’s an ‘improvement’ – there seem to be shards of light on the horizon if you are an employer with finance recruitment on the landscape in 2022.

But keep hold of your hats because in the words of Run DMC its going to remain tricky tricky tricky trriickkkaaaaaaayyyyyyyy ….

  • It’s still gonna be tough.
  • You’ve got to be ultra competitive – in both your offers and your recruitment processes.
  • It might change!

Demand for management accountants, financial accountants, FBPs, commercial accountants, finance managers and FCs was incredibly fierce in 2021.  At times it was utter carnage with multiple offers and mind-boggling counter offers causing total mayhem. 

There were a host of influences driving the demand and a perfect storm of contributing factors impacting candidate availability.  From a recruitment perspective ‘It was life Jim but not as we know it’.

Demand outstripped supply at levels I personally haven’t ever experienced during 16 years in the sector.

As we enter 2022:

  • There has been no ‘cliff edge’ drop off in vacancies – and there’s no sight of it.
  • There’s also been no epic floodgate-opening of candidate supply…

Since Nov 2021 onwards candidate ‘appetite to move’ seems to have begun to warm up.  There are shifts in confidence.  The overall sense that we appear to be approaching an ‘end game of the pandemic’ will (and is) improving the interest in a move among candidates.

However, employer confidence is trending in parallel.  Businesses want to ride out of the pandemic high on horseback… so there is a growing concentric circle of demand at the edge of the pool of candidates!

In any market when demand even mildly outstrips supply price goes up – just look at the cost of your digs on Zoopla… or a 3 month old Rolex Sub!!

Our market is no different – candidate shortages drive natural salary demands… and there has been sustained upward pressure on the salaries of qualified accountants for 20+ months.

This will plateau, but we aren’t there currently and recent data suggests they moved forward yet again in Q4 2021!

There aren’t always instant solutions to the challenges… especially if you are a business in a location which creates challenges in a ‘normal’ market.

These things will help:

  • Get the salary right.  If you are out of kilter and haven’t benchmarked effectively and recently then you are running the race with one leg tied to the other.
  • Understand why someone would want your job.  Seriously it’s common sense but if asked ‘why would the person you are seeking want this job’ there needs to be a cogent answer. Recruiters can help with this – they can understand the edges of the brief to position the role appropriately and it all it’s glory.
  • Get the recruitment process right – be slick and decisive… time kills all deals has never been more true.  From 1st interview to getting contracts out be as effective as you can.
  • Get the onboarding right – nothing worse than going through a tricky selection to see the person leave within 6 months because their onboarding was neglected.
  • Be flexible – offer hybrid working if you can, be open minded (‘type’ of candidate and experience you are open to)… the more adaptable you can be the better your chance of positive outcomes.
  • Be realistic and pragmatic – if you know you don’t have the budget for a fully qualified candidate from your competitors then you are wasting your own time by keeping the search light on… either flex your budget or source the skill set your budget can currently accommodate.
  • Use an interim – it’s a sensible market to be patient in and a mid term ( 6 month +) interim option might be a great solution to buy you time and keep the wheels moving.

As a group we support a very wide range of UK businesses to identify and attract qualified finance professionals.  We have particular expertise in coordinating roles deemed ‘tricky to fill’ and those requiring sensitivity / a high degree of confidentiality during the search.

A high percentage of placements come from out extremely well established network, direct approach, proactive candidate mapping and direct headhunting – our network and market knowledge allows our clients access to a candidate pool that traditional advertising simply can’t reach (particularly in a buoyant market).

If you would be keen to speak to one of our team please drop us a line. // 01246 541 927

Recent Posts