The market continues to show an upward trend demonstrated by increasing vacancies numbers as well as candidates ready to make a move. During 2021, data showed that vacancies released continued to increase and while candidates still seem to be hesitant to consider a move, the sheer volume of new opportunities and the salaries that they offer are tempting many who otherwise would stay during a volatile time.
Concerns about new Covid variants seem to have taken a backseat when considering a move and with hybrid working and businesses weathering the storm, candidates appear to be more confident making a move. In my opinion, the phrase “the great resignation” is overstating and while there is an increase in resignations the phrase is not reflective of the actual shift in the market. What is interesting is that turnaround time from interview to offer has dramatically shortened. Comparatively, in January 2021 we were seeing 4-6 week timelines, and now turnaround times can be as short as a week. Businesses are being more flexible and the use of video conferencing and working from home has contributed to the process being significantly quicker.
Another trend is that while compensation remains important it is not the driving force behind a move, instead candidates are favoring a work life balance as well as a good culture. Businesses trying to attract talent with ping pong tables and free bars are having to rethink their strategies and instead promote a holistic working environment and welcoming culture.
The roles that we have been seeing come to market have been full spectrum, junior to senior. While traditionally there is a bottle neck at senior level, restructurings during 2020 and 2021 has led to an increase of senior candidates on the market. Fortunately during Q3 and Q4 we were seeing a significant increase in VP, Director and CFO vacancies, which is a trend we believe will continue long into 2022 although these roles were largely over-subscribed. This is supported by our applicant data where we can see that Director level job adverts are getting significantly more views and applications than vacancies at Associate or Mid Senior level, which would suggest a large number of candidates who are looking to move at this level.
Perhaps an interesting trend is a rising number of FP&A positions within the fintech space. The space has traditionally been low down on the priorities list and blends into other finance areas but with a record number of IPO’s in 2021 and a number slated for 2022 FP&A is a busy area from Analyst to Director level.
Importantly we’ve also been seeing a large increase in Graduate accounting positions with the Practice houses making up majority of hires.
Our prediction for Q1 2022 is that vacancy numbers will continue to increase eventually levelling out in Q3. Furthermore we expect salaries to stay at the same level. Aside from consultancy roles, areas we expect to see continuing to rise steadily are Mid senior FP&A positions, General Financial and Management Accounting and Regulatory Reporting at Junior to Senior grade.
Movers & Shakers
Movers and shakers in the accountancy world tend to be few and far between but this time we’ve settled on the Accountancy practices. The sheer number of hires they have committed to is huge such as PwC looking to hire 100,000 people in the next 5 years as an example.