The ‘War for Talent’ in Finance looks to rage on in 2020…

 In Accountancy, Blog, Featured

There are a range of key factors and important considerations outlined below which may be of interest if you are considering recruitment within your finance function through 2020.

It has been an extremely busy start to Q1; businesses are continuing to experience the fierce competition for experienced finance and accountancy professionals.

  • Macro factors such as Brexit are polarizing optimism amongst job seekers…

Most of the MDs, FDs and senior finance professionals we recruit for are reporting optimistic forecasts and are ploughing on with exciting plans. This is not reflected across our passive job seeker market – many are suggesting that they have mild concerns around job security and are taking an increasingly cautious (and highly selective approach) to their job search through 2020… while the 100% British / non-EU dust settles. 

  • Both your current and future employees probably think you’re not paying enough…

According to the ONS, those who stayed in their role in 2019 saw their wages increase an average of 5.2% and the average full-time salary is now £36,611.

When salaries are ramping forward it can be particularly challenging to hold your finance team together. If you haven’t reviewed the salaries of your finance team fully this year then it is likely someone will be offering at least a 5% salary incentive to move.

  • IR35 is a headache that is likely to need more paracetamol through H1…

We are approaching crunch time and the interim finance market is showing lots of signs of beginning to feel the pain. Both the businesses looking to hire finance contractors and interim professionals themselves are increasingly showing, and discussing, signs of concern around the scope of the change and the financial impact of the legislation deadline. 

For me, it seems that there will be somewhat of a standoff between businesses needing interim finance support and those candidates able to provide it… who will blink first and absorb the financial hit of the new tax legislation remains to be seen. If you are not already feeling ready this link to a partner we trust may be of interest –

  • There’s an undeniable skill shortage (but we would say that wouldn’t we)…

Quelle surprise…the recruiter claims there is a shortage of candidates in their specialism… its tighter than ever… OK, OK. There is a skill shortage for talented qualified accountants. In a large scale recent study [published by] 74% of UK recruiters believe skills shortages will be their top hiring challenge for 2020 and nearly half (46%) believe the talent shortage in the UK is worse now than it was five years ago…

More than ever businesses have to get your hiring process; attraction strategy and recruitment partner ducks in a solid row to optimize the chance of successfully resourcing the skills and characters you need in 2020.

  • Folk hate to pay their study support back…

In recent years it has been the norm for businesses to stipulate that CIMA / ACCA / ACA studiers repay their fees if they choose to leave an employer BEFORE qualifying. This has typically ‘trapped in’ part quals and created a war for talented assistant management accountant / financial accountants. 

We are beginning to see a trend that businesses are contractually extending the time someone must stay before becoming free of their obligations to repay (e.g. 2 years post qual) which is tightening the market at that level (broadly speaking the £35,000 – £45,00 market). It’s not something we recommend as it can create resentment but it is worth being aware that your competitors may be doing so to shield their newly qualified staff from your clawing recruitment fingers!

  • There are loads of interesting vacancies and commercial exposure is ‘proper vogue’

If you are recruiting a financial accountant with limited business facing exposure then it is likely to be viewed as drier than stale bread. The vast majority of Qualified Accountants we work with and speak to want commerciality, business partnering and project exposure within their next role – making it very tough for businesses needing technically solid candidates for their balance sheet integrity and statutory accounting. 

If you have specific recruitment needs in finance we have proven expertise in supporting businesses in the UK to attract and hire qualified finance professionals:

Typical assignments include:

• Finance Director, Financial Controller, Finance Manager.

• Project Accountant, Finance Business Partner, Commercial Accountant, FP&A.

• Management Accountant, Financial Accountant, Group Accountant.

• Company Accountant, Part Qualified Accountant.

If you would be keen to discuss the market or any of the points outlined in more detail we would love the chance to speak.

01246 541 927 /

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