Firms are becoming more active in recruiting experienced staff. A small number have seen significant growth and as such are recruiting seniors through to senior managers, predominantly in business services. As always there is a strong preference to recruit staff permanently rather than on contracts.
In terms of skills in demand for the April – June 2015 quarter, we’re seeing a high demand for Business Services Seniors. There is particularly strong demand from small to medium firms for Managers, Seniors and Supervisors with advisory and compliance experience due to a high turnover of staff at this level. Companies are replacing staff who have either left the profession to move to another sector or have retired. Competition with the commercial sector, as well as higher salaries in commerce, have both led to a shortfall of candidates for professional practice.
Intermediate and Senior Tax Accountants are consistently in demand as firms need to bring in experienced Accountants to complete hands-on tax work as client demand for their services starts to rise approaching the end of the financial year. There is a shortage of suitable candidates in these areas as they are often reluctant to move from their existing positions. Companies are replacing staff who leave the profession or are hiring additional headcount due to growth in their client base. At the senior level candidates often seek commercial roles, and this therefore depletes the pool of available candidates.
Senior Accountants are also highly sought after by growing accountancy practices. They often choose to move to commerce, and as a result place more pressure on practices that are short of staff at this level.
Temporary Auditors will be in demand over the busy end of financial year season. This increased demand will be responsible for some additional candidates entering the market, although quality candidates remain in short supply.
In terms of candidate trends, there is a shortage of quality, experienced candidates. In particular, quality candidates with experience in a mid-sized or larger practice are in demand. Improving economic conditions have brought additional candidates into the market as demand increases.
Finally, we’ve seen a preference from employers to hire candidates with strong relationship building skills. Firms are starting to offshore lower level compliance work in favour of developing business partnerships and focusing on positive commercial outcomes for their clients.