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What does the market hold?

by Sellick Partnership | 10 September 2014

A key theme of 2014 so far has been an attitude of change and cautious optimism. We're hearing less of the word 'recession' and 'economic downturn' and instead are finding ourselves in 'a candidate-led' job market, with companies competing to hire and retain the best talent in their sector.

When it comes specifically to the finance and accountancy market, professionals are less able to rely on their technical expertise and instead have to show themselves as able to work with a wider ranger of groups across businesses - they're no longer seen as a stand alone function.

In this year's finance and accountancy Salary and Market Guide, we found that employers are hiring for wider-reaching roles such as finance manager and management accountancy, as opposed to more technical, development-specific positions.

Although having to focus on their interpersonal skills and commerciality can be hard for finance professionals at first, individuals who take advantage of growing social media platforms can find themselves standing out from the crowd. With jobseekers taking advantage of being able to apply to roles via these platforms (we saw an increase of 156% in visitors to our website in 2013 compared to the same period in 2012), they can not only benefit from the convenience and privacy of being online, but also of the chance to show their personality to potential employers through channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

This advancement in use of technology has also encouraged businesses and professionals to interact differently; whether a candidate is passive or actively seeking their next role, having a social media platform on which to communicate on both a formal and informal level allows companies to position themselves as an employer of choice. They're relying less on their corporate branding, rather showing a different and often more personable level to potential employees.

We have also seen an increase in the number of individuals looking for a new job in 2014 - for example, 57% of survey respondents in the North West said they are looking to change job in the next 12 months - meaning there is an increasing pressure on companies to prove themselves in order to attract the best talent.

Everything from annual leave allowance to flexible working has been put under the microscope as employers attempt to attract and retain the highest calibre candidates on the market. Final career decisions are being made on more than basic salary alone and businesses need to be listening to their employees, offering benefits that best suit them and their changing behaviours.

This is especially prevalent when it comes to the new generations entering the work force, as their requirements are being taking into more and more consideration in order to fill the skills gap many employers are facing.

It seems that the market holds plenty more change and a learning curve for both finance professionals and their employers; the strongest candidates will have to ensure they're considering all their options, and employers need to develop strategies regarding achieving more with a limited team.

Whatever the next 12 months does hold, it's looking increasingly positive and providing both finance professionals and employers the opportunity to reassert themselves in the market, taking advantage of the growing economy and confidence surrounding the sector.

Are you looking for a change in 2014 or to discuss your current hiring requirements? Contact us on 0161 8341642 for an initial discussion, or request your copy of our 2014 Salary and Market Guide here.