“There’s been a marked increase in the number of vacancies registered across the board,” says David Geller, Advantage Professional’s Associate Director, who commissioned the survey. “The gradual move towards growth means that we’re seeing a rise in demand for skill sets in forecasting, budgeting, planning and analysis while business critical roles in all areas continue to be filled.”
The report also revealed a revival of mergers and acquisitions activity, which is in turn leading to demand for corporate finance experience within internal corporate development and treasury departments.
A major finding of the report was that management accountants are particularly in demand, with 40% of respondents saying that they were the most difficult roles to recruit. Over a quarter, (27%) suggested that financial and business analysis were among the most in-demand skill sets.
“There’s been a shortage of available high quality financial talent and a lack of job churn in the sector as, obviously due to market conditions, potential candidates have been risk averse, but CFOs and FCs need to be mindful that team members who willingly took on the work of colleagues let go as a result of the recession will not expect these duties to remain part of their remit as the recovery continues,” added Geller. “Talented people who made sacrifices to help out when times were hard are going to expect to be rewarded, or they’ll consider their options.”
Against this backdrop, the report notes while salaries have remained flat, retaining talented staff is very much on the agenda as the recovery takes hold. With this clearly in mind, over a third (34%) surveyed said that they are planning to offer additional bonuses as a retention tool.
“During the recession, employers believed that there was a huge choice in the hiring pool, but there’s now a marked difference between quality and quantity with the most skilled candidates in high demand”, added Dempster. One issue that needs to be addressed is that of lengthy hiring processes which is leading to some employers missing out on their preferred candidates.”