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Why You Should Work with a Recruiter To Hire Your Next Accountant

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

A recent survey by the accounting resource company Karbon found that 95% of accounting firm partners said that they had experienced challenges when attempting to recruit Accountants.

What’s even more shocking is that only 22% said that they are confident that their recruiting strategy is reaching the very best applicants.

It’s that word – ‘reaching’ where the importance of a good recruiter comes in. You might think your recruitment process is as slick as possible, with excellent salary and remuneration packages and your company culture is on point, so why aren’t you getting any takers?

The truth is that in the current tight employment market, the best candidates are not few and far between – they’re not even looking.

Even with Brexit uncertainty looming, the UK’s unemployment level is at a 44-year low and is still falling. While this is great news for the UK economy, unfortunately, many of the jobs that have been created are low-skilled jobs, meaning it is increasingly difficult for hiring managers looking to fill professional positions such as Accountants.

I want to use this article to tell you about the issues facing hiring managers who are looking to recruit Accountants and how managers and recruiters across the country are attempting to remedy the problem.

Changes in Recruiting for Accountants

If you have faced challenges in your search for accomplished and suitable accountancy candidates – you’re not alone. Companies across the board are struggling to attract great accounting talent and are being forced to think outside the box, which has resulted in some unusual candidate attracting methods such as this archived LinkedIn accountancy job advert.

The job vacancy has long since gone, but LinkedIn has kept the advert up as an example of extreme advertising – the specification uses words such as ‘kick-ass’ and ‘weirdo’ to describe their ideal candidate – a real deviation from the accountancy job descriptions from the past!

Many other accountancy firms who recruit in-house, as well as accounting recruiters across the board, have overhauled their recruiting process, and it is now the norm to ask prospective accountancy candidates to apply initially via video rather than the standard CV and cover letter.

Gone are the days of simple processes for hiring Accountants – hiring managers and recruiters are having to change their processes dramatically to have a chance of attracting the best Accountants.

Accounting Skills Shortage

The same accountancy firm I mentioned earlier also runs a training programme for accountancy Graduates fresh out of university to train them in applying their knowledge to real-life working scenarios.

This really highlights the skills gap that I mentioned – there is a shortage of Accountants out there who are ready to hit the ground running. Even after studying for several years, the new wave of Accountants is often not ready to fill the jobs in the market where they are needed.

Research conducted last year on the UK skills shortage found that 1,000 accounting and finance professional respondents reported that 60% of them expect at least a moderate skills shortage going forward.

Changes in the Industry

Not only are hiring managers struggling to find the number of candidates to provide a comprehensive interview process, huge changes in the accounting industry have left some managers wondering what kind of candidates they should be searching for.

The advent of cloud computing, automation and the millennial-age workforce has meant that the industry is unrecognisable to what it was just a few years ago.

This younger generation of Accountants has changed what it means to be a stand-out accountant. Alongside the quintessential traits such as excellent organisational skills, a true passion for numbers and an obsession with detail; millennial Accountants are active problems solvers, they are creative, and they are not afraid to ask difficult questions.

If your company is seeking to replace a boomer-aged accountant who was methodical, steady and old-school, it can be worrisome when every accounting candidate that you encounter seems completely different.

What companies must remember is not only that change is necessary; it is a good thing. The accountancy candidates that we are seeing coming through the ranks are a new breed – and this can seem scary – but they will bring skills to the accounting role that you didn’t know were missing!

Why Recruiters Are Needed to Find Accounting Talent

As you can see, there is a perfect storm of problems affecting the accounting world currently, with multiple reasons culminating in the inability for companies to find the accounting candidates they are looking for – with financial analysts and reporters, as well as mid-management candidates in highest demand.

How can recruiters help? A general recruiter might not have the network in place to know where the best veteran and upcoming accounting talent is – but a dedicated accountancy recruiter will - it is in this network of passive candidates that the best talent lies.

Not only this, but as accounting recruiters know which kind of candidates have worked, and not worked previously in different firms, we can source talent that a hiring manager alone might not have considered.

If you need help in finding accounting talent for your business, talk to a dedicated accounting recruiter today to discuss your options.

 

ABOUT CLAYTON RECRUITMENT

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability. 

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial Nursing, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here

If you would like to download our latest interview checklist, you can do so here.

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