Overcoming the Accounting & Finance recruitment struggle

Louise Woodward
Louise Woodward

By Louise Woodward (Chartered MCIPD), Associate Director at Bond Williams Professional Recruitment


It’s no secret that clients within the Accounting and Finance sector are struggling to find quality candidates at the moment. A 2018 REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation) report revealed that such skills are in highest demand across the UK, but that availability of suitable candidates is a huge challenge for businesses.


With unemployment at its lowest since the 1970s, it is generally a candidate-driven market in every sector. However, with accounting and finance professionals tending to stay in roles for longer than other sectors, there are even fewer active, quality candidates available.


At Bond Williams Professional Recruitment, our specialist Accounting & Finance team has more than 75 years’ combined experience recruiting for this industry across Dorset and Hampshire, and we are definitely in agreement that it’s a tough market for companies.


Having said that, there are three key things employers can do to improve their recruitment success this year:


1.    Be open-minded
A big problem in the sector is that businesses are being very particular in their criteria. Practices will only consider candidates with practice experience and industry prefers candidates with a background in the same sector. The reality is that only around 25% of active job-seekers have practice experience and in fact, some candidates currently working in industry could easily transition with some training and depending on their current level of experience. Similarly, sector experience is great, but many skills are easily transferable, and employers may need to be more open-minded.
Another alternative for companies struggling to recruit is to look at temporary, contract or interim cover. Many of these workers will consider going permanent for the right role, and it also gives businesses the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’. Temporary work is not just for junior accounting and finance roles either - we have top quality Finance Directors and Chief Financial Officers available immediately for interim and contract roles.  


2.    Act fast
It is increasingly that case that businesses are taking too long to make a formal offer when they do eventually find a suitable candidate. Either they are too busy and this falls to the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list, or they want to wait for similarly suitable candidates to come along so they can make a true comparison. Unfortunately, there are more jobs than available candidates right now, so if employers see someone that fits the bill, they should make a decision quickly before another company makes an offer.  


3.    Partner with a specialist recruitment agency
Using a specialist recruitment agency can significantly increase your chances of finding an ideal candidate sooner. At Bond Williams, we know our Management Accountants from our Financial Accountants and the stark difference in the skills, experience and qualifications required of an Assistant Accountant compared to an Accounts Assistant. This makes the initial briefing easier for the client as we have the knowledge and expertise to support you with job specifications; and initial candidate shortlisting happens much faster, because we don’t rely on keyword matching.  


In addition, we have built strong relationships with thousands of accounting and finance professionals over the years, many of whom we have placed multiple times, and can approach them personally. With a detailed insight into the local job market and expectations of relevant candidates too, we will only ever put forward the most suitable candidates for interview.  


For exclusive access to some of the most sought-after Accounting & Finance professionals across Dorset and Hampshire, contact Bond Williams’ specialist team today.

Visit: www.bondwilliams.co.uk

 

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