Intermediates and Seniors in tax/business services – While there have been some redundancies at the Manager level within tax and business services, demand remains at the intermediate and senior levels. Firms are eager to find staff that can perform hands-on work, rather than review. Despite the high number of graduates in the jobs market, experienced candidates at the intermediate and senior level are typically able to choose the best of several available options. As a result, a competitive remuneration package, strong team culture and a streamlined recruitment process are essential to attract and retain the top talent.
Graduates – Graduate recruitment drives have or will soon commence. Some firms lost staff during the past year and are now set to commence their annual recruitment drives to secure the skills they need for the new calendar year ahead.
Intermediate Accountants – Some firms are looking to take on intermediates from larger practices who are completing their CA. This increased demand has come mainly from the larger mid-tier practices, some of which have also expanded to add to their Senior Accountant and Business Services Manager headcount.
Insolvency – Intermediate and senior level candidates are in high demand. Given the continuing tough climate for small and medium sized businesses, there is now a shortage of candidates with insolvency experience.
After an extended period during which accounting firms had top heavy teams, we have now started to see movement at the management level. This was largely due to bottlenecks within businesses as Partnerships and Directorships were delayed to cope with lower than expected growth.
Vacancy activity is expected to increase this quarter since firms are keen to secure candidates who can start early in the new calendar year. Candidate levels have increased and people are increasingly confident to enter the jobs market if they are not happy in their current role. This is an indication of increasing confidence overall.
Salary increases have been minimal with the exception of top performers. CPI has been the standard increase for most employees.