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Financial jobs market under pressure

Greg Thorpe
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If your company is looking to recruit within your accounts department, it’s worth understanding what the market is currently like. Contributor Greg Thorpe, Managing Director – Howett Thorpe.

We are experiencing high demand for experienced candidates in the finance function, across many different sectors and industries. There is definitely a skills shortage in the current marketplace. Whilst that’s good news for candidates, it’s less so for clients. In a candidate-driven market talented individuals have the upper hand. They might receive multiple job offers and be in a strong position to negotiate.

How To Handle A Candidate’s Market
A candidate-driven market means that recruiters and employers need to adopt strategies to attract and engage the best talent – quickly. Our advice is to follow these steps: Don’t hang around: The biggest challenge companies have in a candidate-driven market is speed. If you find a great candidate you need to get them through your recruitment process as quickly as possible, otherwise they might get snapped up by another employer before you have a chance to make an offer.  You may find this blog post about speed of recruitment useful to help you optimise your recruitment process for the market.

Sell your opportunity: A clear, concise job description that explains exactly what the job entails and what you can offer the successful candidate is essential. With lots of jobs waiting to be filled you’ve really got to sell your opportunity and ensure the right candidates are attracted to the role.

Focus on cultural fit: Accountancy and finance roles can be quite similar between different companies, there may not be a huge difference between the responsibilities and opportunities each role presents. In this situation company culture becomes a significant factor, because candidates will base their decisions on where they feel they have the best cultural fit. Make sure you reflect company culture and values across the entire recruitment process to engage the right candidates for your role.

Be clear about career progression: Sometimes it’s not so much about the current job offer as what the future holds. Candidates are not just looking at the short term but also what opportunities there are further down the line. If your company can offer career progression and L&D, this can be a very attractive factor for talented candidates.

Compensation: Money talks, but just because your company is not offering the highest salary doesn’t mean you’re out of the game. Naturally you need to be offering a competitive salary, consummate with the market rate, but other factors may also impact a candidate’s decision, which you can use to your advantage. Benefits such as lease cars, health insurance and salary sacrifice schemes can make a positive difference to your employees’ earnings, so consider these if you haven’t before. Also offering a good work-life balance can give you the edge. For example, flexible or remote working is highly desirable and can attract candidates to your role who might not have considered it without this flexibility.

Finally, working with a specialist finance recruitment agency is a really good way of sourcing talent and avoiding a bidding war between different employers! We have an extensive database of passive candidates who are not actively looking for a new role, but if the right job comes along would be interested in having a conversation. That means that in many cases you have exclusive access to talented candidates who are an excellent fit for your company, and therefore you can get ahead of other companies competing for the same talent.

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