Companies in the accountancy landscape are under increasing pressure to adapt their recruitment and retention strategies in 2022.
A recent post in accountancy today revealed that the demand for accountancy skills is rising, but the lack of skilled workers stresses around 74% of UK businesses. Companies in the accountancy industry are understaffed by about 22% on average.
Aside from a growing skill shortage, companies also need to contend with the increasing trend that employees in the sector are now more likely to consider a move.
Accountancy candidates know they have more options on where they can work, particularly as remote and hybrid career opportunities arise. As such, turnover is rising among staff who can’t get the benefits they want from their existing employers.
Staying ahead of the key accountancy trends as we move through 2022 could ensure you can access and retain the right talent. In today’s post, I want to share four critical trends.
Trend 1: Demand for Flexibility
Flexible working arrangements are something a significant number of employees are looking for today. As of 2021, 61% of staff members say they prefer to work remotely, and many accountants we speak to are also looking for the opportunity to balance in-office and remote work.
Accounting professionals are in an excellent position to embrace more flexible working schedules, thanks to the digital nature of their everyday tasks. Cloud collaboration tools and accounting software ensure that we can work effectively from almost anywhere.
Offering your accounting teams more flexible working options could mean they’re more likely to want to be part of your team rather than another firm down the road. At the same time, it’s also worth considering new trends for flexible working as they emerge, like the rising demand for the four-day workweek.
Studies are increasingly beginning to show shorter working weeks can lead to greater productivity, engagement, and satisfaction among employees. Consider experimenting with a handful of people on a four-day workweek; then, depending on the results, you can expand this option to the whole team.
Trend 2: A Culture of Empathy and Wellbeing
Good company culture has long stood out as an important consideration for accounting and financial professionals looking for new employment opportunities. Employees want to work in an environment where they feel accepted, supported, and aligned with their colleagues.
However, lately, there has been a growing demand for certain ‘expectations’ as part of the average company culture, like empathy, wellbeing, and a stronger focus on DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). Your staff want to see evidence you’re committed to caring for their health, wellbeing, and growth as a human being.
A strong investment in your team’s wellbeing will help you stand out to new talent and ensure you can retain your existing staff. Look into things like employee mental health days, and create schedules for checking in on your staff members whether they’re working remotely or in-office.
Don’t forget to think about your approach to diversity and equality too. A more diverse team with a strong sense of inclusion and acceptance for everyone will help you to attract a wider range of talented professionals.
Trend 3: Demand for Increasing Salaries
A lack of pay rise options and suitable salaries has been a growing issue for accountants. Backed by sustainable levels of growth in many accounting organisations and new demands for financial support from groups all over the country, accountants expect an increase in their income. You’ll fail to deliver the right salary and miss out on the best talent.
With fewer applicants and greater competition in the accountancy market this year, it’s important to make sure you’re constantly evaluating the competition and asking yourself whether you’re paying your professionals what they’re worth.
If you don’t have the budget to outshine the competition in your industry from a salary perspective, you can always consider looking into other ways of making your roles more appealing. Unique benefits, like paid time off for mental health or a four-day workweek, might convince your accounting talent to accept slightly lower pay.
Remember to check your salary options against the market trends often, too, as you may need to consider giving your team members regular boosts to their income.
Trend 4: Growing Need for Training
Development and educational opportunities are often an excellent way to make your employer brand stand out to accountancy talent. However, access to these benefits is becoming increasingly important in recent years. As new technology emerges in the financial market, accounting professionals are increasingly working with new tools.
Systemic changes from the likes of HMRC, including the various phases of making tax digital mean it’s important to ensure your accounting teams have the training required to use digital assets. You’ll also need to think about the training your teams might need to leverage innovative new tools, like AI analytical systems and automation.
Access to enhanced tools in the accountancy space can help reduce errors and optimise workflows, but only when your team members know how to use them correctly. You can even consider offering training on new concepts like cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other trending concepts in the accounting space.
As always, while the various trends in the hiring landscape for accountants might change over the years, the most valuable way to reach the right talent is with a recruitment agency. A dedicated recruitment company with expertise in the accounting sector will ensure you can stay on top of the latest trends and position yourself correctly in front of the right candidates.
Rebus has years of experience helping companies adapt to the changes in the financial landscape, so they can easily attract and retain top employees.
Reach us via email or on 01282 930 930.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, ranging from various organisations, including SMEs, to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.