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Where Are All the Finance Candidates?

  • May 20, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has altered the dynamic in recruitment. While some industries have seen recruitment freezes, others are struggling to locate the employees they need.

With furloughs and some inevitable redundancies in various organisations and sectors, finance and accounting departments remain necessary throughout, which has contributed to a shortage of finance candidates.

With almost half of senior leaders in the financial services sector reporting high competition for finance roles, and now the added challenge of recruiting in the age of coronavirus – finding the right finance candidates is not an easy task.

Companies looking to hire and retain finance employees are struggling to locate the talent they need. Today, I want to discuss why, and what your organisation can do about it.

The Skills Shortage

A general shortage of candidates is the first problem organisations must contend with to hire their next Credit Controller or Payroll Assistant.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, employers were struggling to hire talent due to a skills gap. Data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) Jobs Outlook Report found that between May and July 2019, 46 per cent of employers of permanent staff expressed concern over finding enough suitable candidates for their vacancies.

The skills shortage in the UK has increased year on year, as employers struggle to locate finance candidates for pivotal roles within their team.

Businesses Competing for the Best Finance Talent

The headlines we have seen recently about COVID-19 potentially damaging the UK job market do not tell the whole picture.

Shortly before the coronavirus hit the UK, chancellor Rishi Sunak boasted of a ‘national jobs miracle’. There was indeed a steady growth of jobs in many sectors, and tying in with the skills shortage, many employers were struggling to locate talented employees.

While the hospitality, retail and travel sectors have been affected, in many areas of the UK economy, there is a steady progression.

The coronavirus outbreak, however, has put an unprecedented strain on many finance departments, due to recent financial activity – let’s take a closer look.

Finance Departments Affected by Coronavirus

Finance departments have had to alter their regular schedules in line with new increased financial activity.

Cashflow forecasting, audits, tax, accounts assistants dealing with debts – all of these roles have been put under increased pressure due to changes caused by COVID-19.

Nearly 300,000 companies applied for CBILs (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans) last month. Pausing and taking stock of all incomings and outgoings is not something which finance departments had planned to do at the start of the year. For this reason, many businesses are seeking extra help in finance departments right now.

There has also been a sharp increase in credit controller roles as businesses futures look uncertain and as some will inevitably close permanently. A quarter of all UK businesses have temporarily closed due to COVID-19, with half a million companies reporting that they are in ‘significant financial distress’.

For now, and the foreseeable future, recovery and debt collection will be a focus for many finance departments, with an increased need for employees within these roles.

For businesses that remain open, getting their finances in order after the significant changes that coronavirus has had is a difficult task, the scale of which we will not know for weeks to come.

Remote Recruitment

Finally, an additional problem that businesses have had to contend with is the physical difficulty with hiring at the moment.

Social distancing measures have meant that the face-to-face interviews have been halted and recruiting in general in lots of companies has ground to a halt – despite there being empty vital positions.

Many businesses are not equipped to conduct virtual recruiting, and in light of the recent situation, there hasn’t been time to set up a process.

If you are in need of finance candidates for a vacant role, and you haven’t got remote recruiting procedures in place – we can help. Get in touch with us here to find out about how our recruitment service is continuing and how it can help you recruit in lockdown.

How We Can Help

If you currently have a finance vacancy in your organisation and are struggling to navigate the current job market to find appropriate candidates, we can help.

Our team of experts are working remotely to help you find the finance candidates you need to help your organisation through this challenging time. If you have a finance vacancy you would like to discuss, get in touch with our team here today.

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, 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.

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