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2021 Hiring Trends in Accounting and Finance


Disruption emerged as one of 2020’s main themes when the COVID-19 pandemic altered many facets of our daily lives. Almost overnight, the public health crisis forced many businesses into a fully remote environment where they pivoted operations quickly, including how they hired talent. We’ve examined marketplace trends to see how recruiting has evolved. These six hiring trends for 2021 will help you recruit and retain top accounting and finance professionals in today’s post-pandemic economy.

#1. Virtual Recruiting is Effective, But Companies Must Hire Quickly
Last year, we reported that intense competition required fast recruiting and hiring practices. That’s even more true today. The tight market means that accounting and finance candidates often receive multiple attractive offers, so companies need to move swiftly to hire the best talent. While the pandemic heightened the “need for speed,” it also forced employers to streamline the hiring process and embrace virtual recruiting. Here’s some good news—companies that plan to remain fully remote have significant opportunities to reduce overhead expenses and redirect those savings toward other areas, like salaries and benefits. Employers can also recruit from a broader, geographic talent pool since employees no longer need to live near their offices. Just make those competitive offers fast or risk losing top talent.

#2. Organizational Culture Helps Attract and Retain Top Employees
Data provided in this Builtin.com article indicates that 35% of American workers say they would pass on the perfect job if they felt the company culture wasn’t a good fit, no matter how qualified or how excited they are about the work. Company culture became an even bigger focus for employers during the pandemic. In a primarily remote environment, companies must work harder and more intentionally to maintain their cultures. When recruiting, it’s important to communicate the ways your company fosters employee connections, boosts morale, encourages professional development and more to attract candidates who will enhance the culture and be committed to stay.

#3. Flexibility and Adaptability Attract Great Talent
Employees completely blended their work and homes lives in 2020, transitioning into a fully remote environment while also navigating a whole host of other issues, like managing childcare and remote learning. Employers that demonstrated compassion for and flexibility with their employees’ schedules and situations and sought out innovative ways to reduce their stress scored high marks. In your recruiting efforts, tout the specific ways you helped your employees in challenging times to help attract future employees.

#4. Technology is More Important than Ever
The pandemic forced a massive digital transformation in a short time for accounting and finance operations. In our newly remote world, employees had to “up their tech game” to solve basic IT issues from home, use new digital communication tools/programs and more. Employers should look for candidates who are comfortable with technology and have experience with specialized accounting software and systems. To further strengthen your company, seek out professionals who have earned technology certifications, such as cloud architecture, artificial intelligence, or data science.

#5. Soft Skills Still Matter and Crossover Skills Gain Importance
Gone are the days where jobs were rigidly defined and only required one skillset. Today, companies are looking for accounting and financial professionals who have strong industry skills as well as technology expertise, can analyze financial data, and helping apply it to meet the company’s business objectives. Modern financial and accounting positions require a candidate to demonstrate soft skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration, along with crossover skills, such as business and operational management and data analysis. Post-pandemic recruiting also requires that candidates demonstrate adaptability in changing environments, while working remotely and onsite.

#6. Businesses Want to Remain Nimble, Creating Opportunities for Staffing Firms
We’re likely not going back to exactly the “way we were” before the pandemic, but this can be positive news for employers. Companies can be flexible and design a custom, economical mix of staffing in response to constantly changing needs, such as managing fluctuations in workflows.
Working with clients through the COVID crisis, Cordia has seen that financial leaders are now eager to engage recruiting companies to help build or scale their teams to perform essential functions and sustain their businesses.

The pandemic may have drastically changed many aspects of our work environments, but demand for exceptional accounting and finance professionals and the need for flexible solutions remains high. If you need assistance finding the right combination of full-time and interim support, contact Cordia Resources.

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