The demand for skilled talent remains high in 2024. To meet their hiring goals, companies must continue finding innovative ways to attract and retain both long-term and short-term talent. Approaches such as offering above-average compensation, promoting opportunities for career advancement and engaging recruiters to help you tap into the pool of passive job seekers are more important than ever. In addition, attracting skilled talent is increasingly about how well a company can provide a healthy work/life balance. Another key to successfully building a team is to understand the current hiring environment and which roles are in highest demand, whether you’re actively recruiting for a role or simply want to keep hold of your current employees. Research from Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report highlights the latest data from surveys of hiring managers and our analysis of thousands of job postings to help you make informed hiring and management decisions.
Finance and accounting managers are encountering significant competition for talent, particularly in accounts payable, financial reporting and payroll. This trend underscores the growing demand for accountants at a time when fewer students are seeking degrees in accounting and entering the profession. With a dwindling talent pipeline, and few finance and accounting workers considering a job change this year, finding candidates for these business-critical roles is especially challenging.
Despite the wave of layoffs that hit financial services in 2023, the overall demand for accountants and bookkeepers has remained robust. Job volumes in corporate accounting, general accounting, bookkeeping and accounting operations showed no significant decline. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), accountants and auditors during 2023 experienced an unemployment rate of just 1.3%. Other finance and accounting positions, including bookkeeper and financial analyst, also reported low unemployment rates. The result is a scarcity of active job seekers for open roles. According to analysis of a proprietary dataset of more than one million U.S. job postings, including 100,000 Robert Half placements, hiring within the business services industry accounted for over 40% of all finance and accounting jobs, totaling more than 200,000 positions in 2023. This sector experienced above-average growth in the latter half of the year, leading to a significant impact on the number of open finance and accounting roles. Similarly, government sectors also observed a notable rise in open finance and accounting positions. High-caliber finance and accounting professionals are attracted to firms willing to adapt to their employees’ desired work styles. Interestingly, only one-third of finance and accounting positions offered flexible work arrangements in 2023, including 25% that provided hybrid model. The rest may be missing an opportunity. As more employers require more in-person time, companies that can offer adaptable work schedules, including flexible scheduling or hybrid or fully remote options, are particularly poised to distinguish themselves in the talent market. 
The following positions were selected because they had consistent hiring demands in the second half of 2023 and high volumes of new openings. They represent the top 10% of in-demand finance and accounting roles, according to an analysis of thousands of job postings and Robert Half placements:
Accounting managerAccounts payable specialistAccounts receivable specialistBookkeeperCorporate controllerDirector of financePayroll specialist/administratorSenior accountantStaff accountantSenior financial analyst Here are the projected salary ranges for the in-demand finance and accounting roles for 2024:   
Looking forward, are companies hiring talent in the first half of 2024? Robert Half surveys of finance and accounting hiring managers reveal that yes, hiring skilled talent is top of mind for many leaders in the field. Forty-three percent are hiring for new permanent roles, while an additional 51% say they plan to staff vacated permanent positions. To help augment their permanent teams, 59% of finance and accounting managers plan to increase their use of contract professionals, especially within financial reporting; AP, AR and bookkeeping; and finance and FP&A. But hiring continues to be difficult, and managers may face a smaller hiring pool in 2024. With a majority (73%) of professionals in the finance and accounting job market inclined to stay in their current roles, the challenge for companies to recruit for open roles intensifies. To attract these passive candidates — those not actively seeking new opportunities — employers must offer competitive salaries, flexible work arrangements and opportunities for career advancement. These incentives are critical to enticing professionals who are content but might be swayed by an offer that aligns more closely with their career and work-life balance goals. Learn more hiring insights in the full Demand for Skilled Talent report.   See 2024 In-Demand Administrative and Customer Support Roles and Hiring Trends See 2024 In-Demand Human Resources Roles and Hiring Trends See 2024 In-Demand Legal Roles and Hiring Trends See 2024 In-Demand Marketing and Creative Roles and Hiring Trends See 2024 In-Demand Technology Roles and Hiring Trends
The Demand for Skilled Talent report by Robert Half is an authoritative source providing essential insights into employment trends. This report has offered a deep dive into the U.S. hiring landscape for over a decade, spotlighting challenges and strategies to attract and retain talent. It explores what employees seek in their careers, identifies common recruitment errors and suggests solutions. The report spans finance and accounting, technology, marketing and creative, legal, administrative and customer support, and human resources, proving crucial for business leaders and managers.