Fun number of the day: 95%. That’s the percentage of hiring managers in finance and accounting having trouble finding skilled talent according to recent Robert Half research. The figures come from a survey of hiring managers and employees from small (20-249 employees), midsize (250-499 employees) and large (500-plus employees) private, publicly listed and public sector organizations.
First, finance and accounting:
Hiring outlook: Two-thirds of hiring managers in finance and accounting seek talent for new roles, and 32% are focused on staffing vacated roles. At the same time, 95% said they face difficulty locating skilled talent available for hire. This is not surprising in a field where unemployment rates for many in-demand roles trend well below the national average. For example, according to data from the BLS, the unemployment rate for accountants and auditors is 0.9%, and for financial clerks, it’s just 0.3%.
Employment outlook: 41% of finance and accounting professionals are either looking for a new job now or plan to launch their search by year-end. For 55% of workers in this field, the top reason to pursue a new role is a higher salary. Also, about one-third (34%) of professionals surveyed said they seek remote work options. If you’re an employer, note that offering flexible work could help you boost hiring and retention of these workers.
Now let’s talk about broader hiring trends. All hiring managers surveyed reported similar difficulty finding skilled talent, only 2% less across all professional fields compared to finance and accounting. You’ll note “eliminating roles” doesn’t appear at all in the finance and accounting group so that’s nice.
|FIRST HALF OF 2023||SECOND HALF 2022||FIRST HALF 2022|
|HIRING FOR NEW ROLES||58%||46%||65%|
|HIRING FOR VACATED POSITIONS||39%||46%||33%|
Back in our corner of the world, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of accountants and auditors to grow four percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Prior to this, BLS projected 10 percent growth (faster than average) for accountants and auditors for the period from 2016-2026. BLS acknowledges in its forecast that technological change is expected to affect the role of accountants in the next nine years but is not expected to reduce overall demand. “The automation of routine tasks, such as data entry, will instead make accountants’ advisory and analytical duties more prominent,” says BLS in its ten-year outlook.
Seeing as we’re in the earliest stages of the glorious AI-driven future, it looks like talent will continue to be a problem for finance and accounting departments everywhere at least for the near-term.
New Data Provides Insight on U.S. Hiring and Employment Trends [Robert Half]