Robert Half Expert Answers Your Questions About Accounting and Finance Hiring Trends In 2015

Questions About Recruitment

Robert Half recently hosted a webinar on compensation and recruitment trends in accounting and finance titled “What You Need to Know to Hire and Be Hired in the New Year: 2015 Financial Employment and Compensation Outlook.” Although the panelists were unable to answer all the participant questions in the time allotted, we’re answering them in a three-part blog series.

In the first two articles in the series, we answered questions from employers and then from job seekers. Today, Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half and moderator of the panel discussion, will address hiring trends and the accounting and finance job markets as a whole.

What does the CPA firm hiring landscape look like? What challenges and opportunities exist there?

Paul McDonald: As noted in the webinar, the accounting hiring environment is highly active across the board. Firms are recruiting heavily, both to ease the burden on existing staff members in the face of a surge of new business and to fill the staffing voids left during the most recent economic downturn. Tax and audit are particularly hot areas. As a result, many employers are facing talent shortages.

Competition is fierce for recruiting skilled professionals, particularly within certain accounting and finance areas. Public accounting firms are experiencing strong competition from the private sector, where high salaries and tempting signing bonuses often lure professionals away. The 2015 Salary Guide from Robert Half notes that CPA firms are heavily recruiting top-performing college students and entry-level accountants, as well as managerial employees, to help address these talent shortages, sometimes signing students on even before graduation. These firms also are boosting salaries and exploring new work-life balance benefits to compete with corporate offers.

The current hiring climate is difficult for CPA firms, but favorable for job seekers who want to work for them.

Are you seeing any different trends in the healthcare industry than in the mainstream finance/accounting/analyst professions?

Paul McDonald: Demand for accounting and finance professionals within the healthcare industry is growing as quickly as in all other industry sectors. The impact of the Affordable Care Act on tax credits,tax information and medical billing has boosted the need for employees who can adapt rapidly to new compliance requirements. Other factors fueling the hiring demand are the combining of for-profit and nonprofit hospitals, the digitization of medical records into databases and the mass retirement of baby boomers who need health-related financial planning.

The major difference between healthcare industry trends and other industry sectors is the need to fill a larger talent shortage more quickly. Healthcare accountants and analysts with industry experience, technological expertise, strong data analysis skills and adaptability are highly sought. For the companies in this industry, this means even stiffer competition for talent. For job seekers, it means more competitive wages and more opportunities.

Thanks for following along with our Q&A articles. We hope these posts have been helpful for you, and we appreciate your patience while we answered the questions. Please join us for our upcoming webinars. In the meantime, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.