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Vacancies are still strong for the summertime

It has become an annual mantra from members that they believe finance vacancies wane over the summer months.

We usually find the opposite happens and this year is nothing different. Within the last few weeks we have experienced a significant increase in roles - this is good news! These have been a mix of permanent and contract positions for reasons including maternity leave, internal promotion and secondment to various projects. 

Employers for their part are more open minded in terms of where candidates are coming from but still seek drive, passion, energy, enthusiasm and an interest in the company and sector. Aligned with that however, they are testing the basic accountancy skills and knowledge of standards application for example IFRS 15 or IFRS 16. This may all appear to be straightforward but what does appear to be the case is that candidates in the midst of a 'candidate market' let themselves down and potentially miss out on exciting roles by failing to prepare for interview or by insufficiently selling their skills and unique experiences.

By expecting higher salaries and better benefits packages coupled with a strong work/life blend, candidates need to be able to demonstrate that they (in the words of L'Oreal) 'are worth it'. It's one thing to have a commercial mindset with excellent business acumen as well as being fortunate enough to lead a team through the good times it's another to have accountancy and leadership skills challenged successful through a competency based interview, that is what is expected in these competitive times so brushing up on IFRS is time well spent.

While candidates may be able to pick and choose their ideal roles, employers can help themselves by streamlining their selection and interview processes. If you go out to the market and hire directly your business reputation and profile in the market can be seriously damaged by tardy response times, or no response at all to those who have applied for your role, there is no excuse in this day and age to not responding in a timely fashion to every applicant who has applied for a role that you yourself have advertised (ad-hoc speculative applications are another thing) so before you start the process ensure sufficient back office support.

Similarly if you use the services of recruiters or agencies be mindful that they are working on your behalf and your brand. The need for speed in turnaround time from receipt of CVs to acknowledgement to interview set up is vital if you are to keep the good candidates interested. With holidays if the hiring manager is on leave perhaps HR can do screening calls to keep the process moving, set expectations and timelines with agencies and candidates alike, when people know what the timeline is they are much better able to cope - silence is not golden and can ultimately backfire on costly recruitment campaigns.

Source: Chartered Accountants.

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