News & Insights

Tips for success in the finance recruitment process

The finance and accounting jobs market, post COVID, has altered dramatically. Whilst businesses are settling into the ‘new normal’, they are also now facing the most significant finance and accounting skills shortage in recent memory. A key driver for this was the closing of Australian borders, causing a dearth of international candidates and, in turn, a bottle-neck of demand over time.

The impact this is now having on Australian businesses cannot be understated. At Moir Group, we are seeing a highly competitive market, with a lack of stability and certainty for hiring managers in the finance recruitment process. This has been accompanied by a notable power shift from prospective employer to candidate. Some of the challenges faced by hiring teams include preferred candidates being approached with competitive offers and employees leaving businesses after being in a role for only a short period of time.

In this article, we talk about how HR directors and hiring managers can ensure they put their best foot forward when going through the finance recruitment process to achieve a successful outcome. We also offer advice for how businesses can ensure they retain their top finance employees for the long-term.

Candidates calling the shots

Conditions in the current jobs market mean that candidates are now in a very strong position and have the ability to ‘call the shots’ when negotiating a role.  For businesses, they face a precarious position when closing the deal, with potential employees often being approached with competitive offers from other businesses, or even counter-offers from their current employers when the candidate in question has accepted the role and handed in their notice. This can often lead to offers falling through at the last minute, causing serious frustration.

This challenge is set to persist for businesses moving forward so it’s important to take the necessary steps to set yourself up for success during the finance recruitment process.

Closing the deal

Our current advice to clients is to ensure you have more than one candidate on your short-list for a position. Whilst you may have your sights set on a single candidate, it’s important to be realistic at this time, understanding that relying on your first choice alone is fraught with risk.

It’s also important to partner with an experienced recruiter who understands the market and will strive to get you a great result. A strong finance recruitment professional will take time to listen and understand what the candidate in question wants and can help you to understand how your business can deliver on this. At Moir Group, we put a strong emphasis on understanding the right ‘fit’ between candidate and company. We also have strong networks and long-term relationships across the industry which helps position us for success. All of these factors are important to help minimise some of the risk.

But, whilst a good recruiter will control 95% of the process, there is always an element of risk that a deal could fall through.  Having a positive and flexible mindset will help you to move on quickly and find another suitable candidate. Again, an experienced finance recruitment consultant will help you to guide you through this process, sourcing new people quickly and ensuring there is an alignment of needs and values.

Keeping your best people

For businesses, the challenge is not just about getting new employees over the line; it’s about retaining them in the long-term.

The pandemic has now reset people’s expectations of how they work, and we are seeing many candidates now demanding more from their employees. If their demands are not met, they are open to the wealth of job opportunities available to them at this current time.

Companies have a growing awareness of how important it is to emphasise employee care to keep their workforce engaged over time. Leaders are now working on formulating the right approach to satisfy employees who have been through a lot and have done exceptionally well in trying circumstances, whilst still getting the best results.

We are seeing that when businesses have a clear purpose at their heart, it is a big driver for retaining people and attracting new people. More than ever, people want to feel that they are part of an organisation whose overarching mission goes beyond the simple offering of goods and services. They want meaning in their work, as well as a strong alignment of values with their chosen employer.

Another key thing employees now expect is to maintain an element of flexible working in their role. We are finding that companies expecting their workforce to be in the office 5 days a week are now struggling to retain staff.

At this time, a successful outcome often comes from taking a hybrid approach in terms of work location, with the magic formula being 2 days working from home, and 3 days in the office. We would say that for people in a leadership role, particularly, this is certainly a reasonable demand.

Having said this, there needs to be give and take between employer and employee. Candidates cannot always expect exactly what they want in a role and, as companies settle into the new normal, we would expect to see a more consistent approach to normalising flexible working across the board.

Andrew Pownall is a Senior Associate on the Executive Search Team at Moir Group.

Are you looking to partner with an experienced finance recruiter to source quality finance professionals that are a great fit with your company’s culture?

Contact Andrew and his team today for a no obligation chat.

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