The Accounting and Finance sector is under an extraordinary amount of pressure to respond to a shifting talent landscape. The root cause of this shift is multi-layered – a combination of generational differences, technological advancements, and economic growth. When it comes to the hard data, CareerBuilder’s Talent Intelligence tool reveals a Hiring Indicator score of 34 for Finance and Accounting positions, which suggests “relative difficulty” in hiring for jobs in the field. Over the past year, there have been just under 1 million job postings in this industry in the U.S., with only 128,609 active candidates. That number is comprised of only 6,387 entry-level candidates and 7,375 candidates with management experience, and represents a 16.3% decrease in candidates year-over-year.
If these numbers don’t surprise you and you’re already feeling the pressure to find the right Finance talent, you’re not alone. A Senior Director at Johnson & Johnson recently admitted that a junior-level accountant position took 6 months to fill, a very frustrating delay. In order to find a solution, we must first dive into the reasons why Finance and Accounting jobs are getting harder to fill.
A Stronger Economy Has Led to a Candidate-Driven Market
The national unemployment rate is back to pre-recession lows at just 4.4 percent. That reality is reflected in CareerBuilder’s Talent Intelligence data, which suggests there are 7 open job postings for every Finance and Accounting candidate. Depending on your region, this disparity is even greater. San Francisco, for example, has the 3rd highest demand in Finance and Accounting, but the number of candidates don’t even make it into the top 10. Boston is in a similar situation, with the 5th highest demand, but the 10th most active supply. No matter where you’re located, it’s clear that supply and demand simply aren’t quite matching up.
As pools of available talent have shrunk, more employers are turning their attention to actively employed professionals, recruiting talent from the competition. It’s a move that gives candidates the upper hand. Many Finance and Accounting professionals are seeing multiple job offers, competitive counteroffers, and healthy sign-on bonuses. They are becoming increasingly confident in the marketplace, willing to quit for better opportunities without much of a second thought.
In cyclical fashion, the candidate-driven market leads to even greater competition, making it increasingly difficult to hire great people. Your compensation structure, benefits packages, corporate culture, and career opportunities will be under greater scrutiny than ever before. If you can’t measure up to the competition, candidates won’t hesitate to reject your offer.
Making Accounting & Finance Jobs Easier to Fill
It’s not all bad news. A commitment to staying on top of these trends and evolving with the marketplace will position your organization for growth and success. So, what can you do to make Accounting and Finance jobs easier to fill?
Why Accounting Jobs are Getting Harder to Fill
Unfortunately, the fact that Accounting roles are difficult to fill is something that hiring managers will be encountering for the foreseeable future. For those that aren’t able to dedicate time and resources to creating new strategies adapted to present-day marketplace conditions, the most effective action is to work with an industry-leading staffing & recruiting partner such as Highmark. Our knowledge of and network within the Finance and Accounting marketplace will relieve the burden from your shoulders.
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