The events of the last two years led to significant trends in the labor market that continue to shape the workforce today. In the current market, high-skilled jobs in specialized positions are in demand regardless of talent scarcity challenges – and are poised to remain so in the coming years. This makes skills the key currency in the labor market and workers with the right ones most attractive.

In the finance and accounting sector, most key functions weren’t severely impacted by the pandemic. However, the industry continues to face a number of human capital issues. One top issue is lengthy hiring processes that can make finding good candidates for financial jobs a challenge. Here are some key observations:

ghosting is real

Everyone is hiring.’s 2022 The Future of Work report found that 93 percent of employers surveyed are actively hiring, up 11 percent from the previous year. However, employer confidence in the ability to find the right candidates is falling: 91 percent of employers believe they can find the right talent in 2022. While that number isn’t dire, it was 95 percent in 2020.

Today, competition is steep and job seekers are in the driver’s seat. As a result, quality candidates are “ghosting” organizations during the hiring process. When a candidate disappears, they’ve most likely accepted an offer from a competitor.

Why did they go? Some candidates choose a particular company because their hiring processes moved quicker than the rest. For this reason, companies that work to improve the hiring process can help avoid this trend.

there’s a balance between speed and quality

Of course, improving the process doesn’t mean companies should sacrifice quality. Vetting candidates is important. However, in recent months, our talent experts in the field have witnessed the same thing over and over: in a talent market this hot, companies that lack speed lose out.

Organizations that wait too long for the candidate who checks all the boxes — the “perfect” hire – lose quality talent to the competition, over and over again. Employers who consider someone with the “must haves” instead is a way to balance speed with quality in the hiring process.

clear job descriptions help

Certain finance and accounting jobs are in high demand. However, in many cases job descriptions have shifted since the start of the pandemic. Employers who know what to skills to look for can hire more efficiently.

  • Accounting managers need to be able to react quickly to evolving automation changes and provide stabilizing mentorship for employees. These traits along with hard skills and qualifications are key.
  • Controllers are now taking a more prominent role as strategic business partners within their organizations. Distinguishing traits like variance analysis, revenue recognition and financial planning will prove helpful.
  • Financial analysts will increasingly need to possess competency with AI, machine learning and data science as the role transforms. Over time, such skills are likely to become hard-and-fast requirements.
  • Payroll coordinators must be comfortable using rapidly-changing automated payroll management systems and be well-versed in the latest employment laws.
  • Accountants are now expected to spearhead internal initiatives. This makes project management skills as important as traditional financial qualifications.

In today’s talent market, organizations that are aware of top trends and work to streamline the hiring process will be better poised to attain quality candidates.

To start, good data can help. Randstad’s 2023 Finance & Accounting Salary Guide shows not just what happened in 2022 — but where the world is headed in 2023 and beyond. Download the guide here.