June saw an extra bank holiday to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and the end of Q2 and H1. We’ve been blown away by the demand from our clients and I would like to take this time to thank each and every client and candidate we have had the pleasure of working with so far this year! It’s been quite a challenging year but we are so grateful to work with such amazing companies and people.
June has seen the return in demand for Big 4 trained ACAs. Not that the requirement has really every gone away this year, but this month many of our clients have been asking us for qualified accountants/auditors coming out of the Big 4. It’s been a real mix of opportunities on offer too – spanning financial reporting and FP&A, in high-growth tech start-ups as well as larger established global brands. If you’re a recently qualified ACA from a Big 4 firm and considering your next move, make sure to get in touch with me to discuss your options.
Given the challenging market, the time to hire for many companies has increased and with candidates leaving roles this has in some circumstances created a gap in between the outgoing incumbent and incoming hire. We’ve seen an increased trend in companies hiring contractors to cover these gaps. Not only can they take handovers from the outgoing person and then handover to the new hire, but they can also provide support for the new hire in their first few months. What we are also seeing from many companies the utilisation of contractors to ensure the rest of the finance team are supported during the transition and are not put under too much extra work. It’s something we often see: when people leave, those that remain are put under increased workload whilst re-hiring which can lead to more employees leaving if they are feeling under-resourced. As we head into peak holiday season over the next 8-10 weeks, it’s a vital time to ensure teams are well equipped whilst others are on annual leave.
I know Accountants love statistics and data and where possible I try to find useful statistics about the market for you all. Absolute are delighted to be part of the research and have partnered with Cranfield University to research the changing motivations of Accountants within the job market.
This will provide really useful data into the motivations of Accountants and we will of course share the results. The survey is entirely anonymous and will only take a couple of minutes to complete, so I would really appreciate it if you could take the time to complete it. To take part in the survey, please click on the Cranfield logo below.
Very much appreciated in advance, and I will share the results once available 😊
I’ve been writing these market updates every month for the last 18 months. Over this time, I’ve noted the ups and downs of the market and offered my advice and thoughts along the way and after more than 24 months of continued quarterly growth in vacancies, it looks like we may be at the peak! The last 10 months have shown a decline in the rate of increases, dropping this month’s growth to 1.6% and as you can see from the curve; vacancies look like they are now levelling off.
It was inevitable that vacancies couldn’t sustain that level of growth forever and would eventually slow and level off, which it has been for 10 months now. It’s not a sign to panic and worry just yet – the figures still show there are more than 1.3m vacancies across the UK; more than half a million compared to pre-pandemic levels. There is still a clear skills shortage at the moment and strong demand for talent, and although the market is slowing; there are still more companies hiring than ever and this skills shortage will take time to change.
Not that I want to scaremonger…. there is talk of a major recession on the horizon and there’s a clear feeling of uncertainty in the markets. So, if you have been considering making a move, I would say now is a very good time to do so. You will be in a far better position to find new opportunities now, in a strong market rather than waiting until next year and moving in a potentially declining market. I’m happy to discuss the market and potential moves with any of my senior finance contacts, please feel free to get in touch with me (confidentially of course).
It’s a strange position to be in writing about the rate of vacancies increasing has been declining, but at the same time it’s still another record for vacancies. As we head into Q3 with a 1.6% increase in vacancies, down from 5.4% the previous quarter, it suggests that by the end of the quarter/start of Q4 we may see the first decline in vacancies since the first lockdown.
Soaring inflation is hitting hard and affecting both employees with the cost of living and employers with rising costs. This all has a knock-on effect with hiring and it’s not looking like it will stop anytime soon. The stock and crypto markets are lacking confidence, with both markets down compared to the start of the year. Speaking with my contacts in the Venture Capital space, investors seem to be pushing for overheads to be cut and savings to be made ahead of any potential recession. Perhaps slowing down the speed of the growth plans, to enable businesses to not burn through cash so quickly. We’ve already seen multiple companies making redundancies in the tech space, and June saw more redundancies than in any month so far this year.
Investors no longer have the appetite for companies to grow at all costs if that cost means burning through their cash like there’s no tomorrow. We’ve been working with several start-ups recently who have successfully secured millions in funding in June. Proving that with a strong business model and reasonable operating costs businesses can still secure investment.
It also tells us that planning and streamlining project skills are going to be sought after! I’d expect anyone who has a change and transformation background in finance to have a busy year ahead! To sum up, the market is changing. Is it any easier to recruit? Well…no. There is still a massive skills gap and a shortage of candidates. Most of the placements recently have been direct head hunting…candidates are out there but you must have an attractive role and offering to compete. For candidates looking, I would seriously consider your options now if you are unhappy or have been considering a move. Moving in a strong market, with lots of options will give you the best chance of finding the opportunity that gives you whatever is most important, be that salary, flexibility, or progression.
Thank you for taking the time to read our market update. As always, if you would like any advice on hiring, candidates, salary benchmarking or just a general chat about the market, please get in touch.
Senior Qualified Finance Recruiter
Tel: 07949 161 351