“69% of CEO’s saying that availability of talent was their most pressing threat for the next 12-18 months ahead of political instability and recessionary fears”

During Q4, candidate availability continued to turn from active to passive with candidates citing several reasons to stay put. As was expected we saw the first time economic instability featured as the leading reason whereas, in prior years, bonuses and the Christmas break took the lead. With Christmas being a time to reflect and recalibrate, we usually find that candidates will not be as active during Q4 so this is no surprise. Motivations we saw in Q1, Q2, and Q3 such as higher salaries and flexible working remain at the front but we are now starting to see the impact of the cost of living and how this drives candidate movements.

Looking towards Q1 and Q2 2023, we asked candidates several questions centred around motivations to move and while salary was important (please see the Finance Salary Guide), candidates talked about other initiatives they want to see such as inclusion and diversity, being valued in the workplace and inclusive workplace culture. Tackling mental health was also a talking point for some of the people we spoke with.

*If you’d like more info on this we can send you a Diversity Overview of how Bruin has successfully helped businesses tackle these issues*

Applicant location data for Q4 remains London centric with a decline in applicants from outside of the 50-mile radius suggesting that fewer people applying are willing to commute longer distances while vacancy data shows that Audit was the number 1 most requested mandate from our clients shortly followed by Technical Accounting and Policy, FP&A and CFO/FD positions

Role profiles

Audit positions have been the most in demand for our clients in Q4. We are seeing that there is an increased demand for Auditors at levels from Junior to VP, especially across FS. On the candidate side, we are seeing that many individuals are keen to stay due to uncertainty in the market, the time of the year and the bonus season fast approaching. However, with Audit vacancies increasing, clients have been increasing compensation and opening up to the idea of sign-on bonuses to attract strong candidates, with the biggest demand for 1-2 year PQE.

We also saw an increase in CFO, FD and Head of Finance mandates across Fintech, FS and Non-FS, which led to our busiest quarter ever in this space. Mandates predominantly came from the Fintech sector.

There has also been a noticeable increase in demand for candidates in the Valuations space in Q4. This has primarily been at the Associate/AVP level, with an emphasis on candidates having exposure to Exotic Products. Demand for Regulatory Reporting candidates has remained at the same level as Q3, with Prudential Regulatory Reporting experience being in high demand.

Other notable mandates included core finance such as FP&A and Management Accounting across multiple sectors.


Data and interviews suggest that salaries will remain similar to 2022 following the cost-of-living crisis and recession fears as businesses look to tighten their belts.

We expect to see an increase in Audit positions across industries although we forecast a plateau in mid-senior to senior Accounting Advisory, Financial Reporting and Regulatory Reporting roles. Furthermore, sign-on bonuses were more common in 2022, which is a trend we expect to continue into 2023.

We still expect to see increased competition for talent across industries but especially in the banking and fintech sectors. As such companies within these spaces need to think about how to best position themselves to attract in-demand candidates.

Movers & Shakers

Although there’s been a slowdown, Fintechs continue to hire in Accounting, with most mandates coming from FP&A. We expect this trend to continue and are seeing a bulk of hiring from early-stage start-ups. While the early stage can’t compete with the basic salaries of an established business we see a lot more candidate interest in this space with many people keen to be hands-on and build something.

Many of the Tier 1 banks saw a decline in their hiring for Product Control/Regulatory Reporting roles midway through Q4, as is typical at that point of the year. A lot of IB’s initiated processes to start in Q1, especially for roles in the Regulatory Reporting space.

The Audit sector is showing resilience with roles still slowly coming our way. In Q1 we expect this to increase with roles flowing from the banking industry as well as Practice firms.