The demand for finance and accounting talent in businesses now exceeds pre-pandemic levels reveals a new report by specialist recruiter Robert Half
According to the 2022 Salary Guide from Robert Half, finance managers, financial analysts, and management accountants are the most sought-after roles due to the effects of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The guide, which is an annual report for projected salary ranges, benefits, and hiring trends across several sectors, revealed that candidates with a strong understanding of Microsoft Excel, finance management, and tax are particularly attractive for employers at this moment.
The report states that the ‘biggest strategic priority’ for chief financial officers (CFO) and finance departments over the next 12 months is rolling out digital transformation and automation initiatives to ‘streamline workflow, increase productivity and reduce costs’.
As well as transforming internal processes, the report states that big data will be ‘key to providing the growth insights’ that businesses need to bolster their recovery efforts with the accounting and finance teams expected to adapt in order to meet these needs.
Leo Hewett, associate director, Robert Half, said: ‘Competition for candidates in finance and accounting is fierce – especially those with the tech skills to support on digital transformation projects. New hires can command significant salary increases, making existing staff more likely to jump ship, so those concerned about retaining talent should be prepared to put up a fight.’
The report also found that 56% of CFOs believe that it will be more challenging to find skilled candidates in 2022 with employee retention at the front of CFO’s minds. The report found that 93% of CFOs are ‘somewhat to very’ concerned about their ability to keep top talent in their ranks.
The rise of environmental social governance (ESG) initiatives and regulatory shifts has also raised the demand for risk and compliance roles with UK businesses launching new responsible and sustainable strategies that require candidates who can help broaden related compliance policies.
In this area senior roles are some of the most sought-after roles that businesses are after are head of compliance and compliance managers.
Chris Henson, senior manager, Robert Half said: ‘There has been high demand for digitally skilled workers in the financial services sector as the link between finance and technology becomes ever-closer.
‘Additionally, the new regulatory landscape and heightened focus on ESG strategies is creating demand for risk and compliance specialists who can help companies create, develop, and adhere to policies and frameworks in relation to this.’