Recap of 2013 Hiring and Hiring Trends in Finance and Accounting for 2014January 27, 2014
Director, Business Development
Creative Financial Staffing
Director, Executive Recruiting
Creative Financial Staffing
Before we have a look at what’s in store for 2014, let’s take a look back at the state of hiring in 2013 in the finance and accounting areas, based on our observations at CFS. 2013 was a very interesting year with an increase in hiring taking place in the second half of 2013. Most of the hiring needs that we saw emerged from internal/external moves, promotions, growth and acquisitions. Due to the increase in open accounting and finance positions, we quickly saw a decrease in qualified talent pool with candidates interviewing for and receiving multiple offers.
Some of the challenges that hiring managers noticed immediately in addition to the decrease in the pool of qualified candidates was also an increase in counter-offers from existing companies and a rise in candidates’ needs for overall benefits. We also saw the marketplace turn into a candidate-driven market. Candidates have been more selective in choosing their next place of employment based on overall job satisfaction. It was no longer sufficient to have a job, but more of an emphasis on what their long-term gain would be. This ranged from advancement in the new company itself, flexibility in work (work from home, flexible work schedules, etc.), time-off policy and the overall benefits program. Hiring managers also realized the need for making prompt decisions on extending offers with the increase in demand for a qualified talent pool. Several hiring managers lost out on potentially good talent due to the lag time between last interview and the offer stage.
Another area that flourished in 2013 was an increase in contract-based employees. This was primarily based upon the fact that a higher pool of professionals in finance and accounting found comfort in working on a contract basis, and a higher number of employers were in need to have employees on a project-by-project basis. These contract-based positions ranged from clerical level to executive level.
2014 Hiring Outlook
A major factor in the hiring trends for 2014 will be the effect that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have on businesses. With a level of uncertainty on how the ACA will impact businesses, many companies will be looking at alternate hiring options such as contract workers, independent contractors and part-time help in addition to normal hiring of full time employees. The need to hire quality employees while keeping overhead costs and headcount down will be the driving force behind this.
There has also been a changing demographic in the American workplace for the last several years and this trend will accelerate in the upcoming years. With the retirement age of baby boomers approaching, the impact on the workforce will trend towards “millennials”. With this new generation’s technical abilities and career expectations, HR/recruiters and marketing departments will have to adjust their recruiting strategies. They will also need to beef up their online profiles to showcase the company on multiple social media networking platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram). This will be necessary as this is where the younger worker will go first to learn of a company’s reputation and culture.
It also bears mentioning that most workers today will be in a continuous job search even after landing a new job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average worker will have about 11 jobs between the ages of 18 and 34. Professionals are going to get more restless in the future as the internet creates an even larger marketplace for jobs.
Candidates will continue to have choices, and ‘A’ players will be heavily courted. This leaves top performers with a strong advantage. Employers will need to focus their efforts on attracting top talent by showcasing their company’s attributes through the interview process. The process does not end after the offer has been made; an employer will need to focus on retaining that top talent by upholding the attributes showcased during the interview process.
The hiring outlook for 2014 remains positive. By keeping these key trends in mind, it will help companies remain competitive and allow for the hiring of top talent that should result in immediate positive impact on your company’s bottom line.