If you are a business leader struggling to land talented candidates for vacant finance and accounting roles, it is likely that you have noticed the labour pool getting smaller. Job seekers with the advanced technology skills you need get snatched up as soon as, or even before, they hit the job market. As a hiring manager, it makes finding the right person for the job increasingly difficult. And you are not alone. Research for our latest Benchmarking Accounting & Finance Functions report reveals that 9 in 10 Canadian CFOs have difficulties finding qualified candidates for these positions.
While all signs point to these challenges continuing in 2020, finance managers who stay on top of industry trends give themselves the best chance of recruiting the most skilled finance professionals. To help you get up to speed, we have identified five key changes happening in financial services hiring.
- Salaries are looking up. Almost half of job seekers in Canada receive multiple offers, and salary tops the list of reasons why they accept one over another. In 2019, median compensation for internal accounting and finance staff as a percentage of staffing budgets stood at 5%. However, many organizations are already boosting this number in efforts to recruit and retain top financial talent.
- Perks can give you the win. Money may top the charts, but it isn’t everything. Companies that successfully attract highly skilled candidates are doing so by redesigning their employment packages to include sought-after perks and benefits, such as professional development programs, accelerated career paths, flextime and work-from-home options.
- New technology is shaking up in-demand skills. Finance executives in Canada report that tech skills are among the most difficult to find when hiring. This is a challenge that will only become more urgent as big data, advanced analytics, cloud-based systems and mobile technology further transform the way we work. Eighty per cent of Canadian senior financial managers reported that this increased reliance on technology has had a positive impact on workers, allowing them to focus on higher-level work and reducing human error. But it also means that those leaders must find candidates with the skills to manage all the data and advanced technology. It also places a higher importance on essential soft skills like leadership and communication.
- Interim staff are indispensable. While full-time staffing levels are expected to remain steady in 2020, the number of companies relying on interim workers to augment their finance and accounting staff during busier periods is on the rise. Nearly 8 in 10 CFOs say they are very confident they have adequate staff to manage day-to-day duties. However, only 26% are just as confident that their staff can handle unexpected projects.
In the current business environment, this poses a challenge for organizations facing technological changes or looking to expand into new markets. Turning to specialized staffing agencies to help add support for your team during these times keeps stress levels low and improves retention — and it is an ideal way to observe a professional on the job before offering them a full-time position.
- Firms are focusing on corporate culture and employee happiness. Around one-third of workers reported that they would decline a job offer if the role was perfect but the company culture wasn’t right for them. Responding to this trend, finance managers are paying close attention to workplace culture and how it promotes job satisfaction for their employees — then making adjustments to make their work environment more appealing and rewarding.
Business may be evolving at a rapid pace, but financial leaders are proving themselves to be resilient and adaptable. By working closely with your information technology and human resources departments to target candidates with the right skills and make them an offer they can’t refuse, you will have a head start in the race to land top talent.
Article provided by Robert Half Finance & Accounting, a division of Robert Half. Established in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized financial recruitment service. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. For more information, visit roberthalf.ca/finance. For finance and accounting management and career advice, visit Robert Half's blog.