With hopefully the worst of the pandemic behind us and a move to ‘live’ with Covid and avoid further lockdowns, the market for senior finance professionals in 2022 is fiercer than ever before. The balance of power between workers and employers has shifted. Job openings are at an all-time high. People are choosing companies that match their personal goals, and wages are rising faster than at any time since 1980.
I do not exaggerate, when we say Irish businesses across all sectors of the economy are in a war for talent. Recently Qualified Accountants up to CFO level jobseekers have more career choices than ever, particularly with Hybrid and work from home options, which has translated to accountants in Kerry working for employers in Dublin. This is potentially the busiest market I have experienced in my 20 years placing senior finance professionals here in Ireland. It’s hard to believe that Brexit is comparatively speaking no longer a big threat to growth and that after 2 years of lockdowns and work from home guidance that 2022 could be a record year for hiring!
The implications for employers, finance leaders and hiring managers are multifaceted. Qualified accountants with a social media presence are being contacted sometimes weekly by a growing pool of recruiters here in Ireland and even overseas, mostly from our UK neighbours. Given the volume of recruiting activity, much of it becomes white noise. Automated technology is getting better and faster at reaching finance professionals, with better engagement and improving marketing strategies, if you are a hiring manager and your team are on recruiters’ radar (with both inhouse recruitment teams and agency) To put this into context, if an accountant on your team has a bad Monday that could easily translate to agreeing to a call with a competitor / recruiter.
Hard to prevent a bad Monday but hiring managers can not ignore the threat nor can managers sit back and expect candidates to apply for roles on job boards. A retention strategy and hiring strategy to cope with an evolving market in 2022, is more important than ever.
Here is my advice on how to ensure that your business isn’t left behind in the war for financial talent
- Flexible work offerings
Most finance staff have adapted very well to working from home during the past 2 years and some have really flourished and do not want to return to the office. Others miss office interaction and based on extensive feedback I get from my finance professionals, hybrid job offers are coming up as a vital requirement in their job search. Flexible start and finish times, 4-day weeks and hybrid working, all need to be considered or the pool of interested finance talent will become a lot smaller. If you don’t offer flexibility, you can be sure your competitors will. Working from home and flexible hours are becoming the new norm and if you don’t keep up, you’re sure to be left behind. Also, if offering remote roles, please ensure the employee has good phone coverage, suitable Wi-Fi and a soundproof suitable space to conduct business.
- Work from anywhere
The world thanks to ever evolving technology and globalisation has become much smaller. If you are a Limerick, Galway, Cork or Dublin business struggling to find local talent, you need to look further. Remote working is here to stay, your next great hire might be living in Donegal or London! It’s time to make a remote working plan.
- Salary & Compensation
Fierce competition is continuing to drive salary and benefit offerings upwards. It’s important to benchmark your salary bands against companies who are competing in the same talent pool. Talk to a good recruiter with their finger on the pulse to find out what you need to be offering your current team and future hires. Martina Quinn can help, see www.mqrecruitment.ie
- Define clear career paths
Finance Leaders should have a good look at the finance talent on their team that they want to keep long term. Creating transparent salary bands and a clear route for progression which may incorporate further education, are key tools in keeping your team from looking elsewhere and in attracting new talent. It doesn’t have to be a managerial career path as let’s face it not everyone makes a manager, but it can include Junior to Senior titles with additional responsibility and/or equity stakes / profit shares and project work.
- Build a diverse workforce
There is endless peer reviewed evidence that organisations that embrace diversity in the workforce outperform their competitors. Look to nearly every major successful multinational and their strategy includes creating a diverse workforce. Not alone do you benefit from difference experiences and a more creative environment, but your pool of talent has just got a whole lot bigger. Remember your competitors are in a battle with you for talent.
- Live your company values
Work with a purpose and a vision is becoming more and more important to jobseekers, its an important proposition when hiring. How can you best sell your culture, why would a finance professional work for you? What makes you as an employer stand out? Make sure that what your organisation is offering is better than your competitors. If you want the best, you have to offer them something that they can’t find elsewhere.
Martina Quinn is considered one of the most successful finance recruitment specialists in Ireland, with 20 years’ experience building finance teams for her clients. Her focus on high-quality service, transparency and long-term partnerships is the secret to her success. Martina is happy to share her expertise with employers. For a free consultation see here