Digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and other factors have created radical changes in companies, which have affected accounting and financial operations. Skillsets for accounting and finance professionals are changing, so recruiting practices for these positions must evolve too. Stay ahead of the competition by understanding five trends that affect the recruitment of top accounting and finance professionals in today’s economy.
1. Intense competition requires fast recruiting practices.
The current talent shortage combined with America’s prolonged low unemployment rate makes it extremely difficult for companies to find talent to fill open positions. According to the BLS, the unemployment for accountant was 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2019. The intense competition for accounting and finance candidates means there’s no time for a long, drawn-out hiring process. Candidates often receive multiple attractive offers and won’t wait for companies that don’t move swiftly. If you’re losing candidates due to your lengthy hiring timeline, consider adapting your firm’s process to secure the best external candidates.
2. Salaries are high, but perks and company culture matter too.
Today’s accounting and finance professionals know their value and that they’re in high demand. Candidates expect a competitive salary and often entertain multiple offers before accepting a position. But if your company can’t match a large corporate salary, don’t fret. Potential employees also evaluate a company on a holistic scale. It’s no longer just about the salary for many candidates; company culture, flexibility, benefits, and other perks (like in-house childcare, free snacks, transportation subsidies) are also important. Examine what makes your company a terrific place to work and promote it in your recruiting efforts.3. Workplace flexibility is essential to employees.
Work-life balance has become a critical component of employment. Companies that offer more flexible hours and locations are appealing to candidates, especially millennials. Millennials have been raised in an “always on, always available” culture, so they are accustomed to “blending work with life” according to an Inc. article entitled, “This Is Why Millennials Care so Much About Work-Life Balance". In fact, they demand it. And it’s not just Gen Y; according to the 2016 LinkedIn Censuswide Study, “nearly half of American workers would forgo the corner-office job and a high salary to gain more flexibility in their schedules.”
4. Accounting and finance operations are affected by digital transformation.
Today’s companies are addressing how to implement and manage digital transformation and artificial intelligence (AI) in their organizations, and their accounting and finance departments are no exception. CFOs and other financial leaders are adapting their operations to embrace digital transformation, which is happening quickly in the marketplace. “A lack of digital savviness in finance will impact an organization’s ability to make good decisions,” said Craig Wilton, Senior Director, Advisory, at Gartner. As a result of evolving operations, businesses must revise their accounting and finance job competencies and seek out talent that is proficient and adaptable. Looking beyond traditional accounting skills for digital skills, such as data analysis, will become increasingly important when recruiting new employees.
5. Consider candidates’ soft skills when hiring.
As accounting and finance departments respond to the digital transformation and influence of AI, soft skills—such as critical thinking, communication and storytelling, problem-solving, and creativity—will become increasingly important skills for employers. Companies will need to adapt recruiting and hiring practices to consider candidates’ soft skills along with traditional accounting proficiencies.
If you need assistance with talent acquisition in the evolving accounting and finance environment, Cordia Resources can help. We specialize in recruiting and staffing accounting and finance professionals for temporary and permanent positions with companies, based on their unique hiring needs. Contact us today!
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