As we embark on the last half of 2023, the labor market in Q1 and Q2 exhibited surprising resilience — despite rate hikes and other measures by the U.S. Federal Reserve to help fight inflation. In fact, the Wall Street Journal says, “lay-offs are still at a historically low level,” and there continue to be more job openings than available candidates.
And, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies added 209,000 jobs to their payrolls in June, with the unemployment rate increasing slightly to 3.6% with gains in government, health care, social assistance and construction industries.
Signs of a slow-down are making themselves known, however, with more white-collared professionals seeking the assistance of recruiting firms to aid in their next career move as employers become less urgent about growing their teams. We breakdown what both accounting and finance professionals and companies can expect for Q3 in our forecast.
While employers are becoming increasingly selective in their hiring efforts, businesses need to adjust their leisurely pace when it comes to engaging with accounting and finance professionals. Why? Well, frankly, because there’s been a significant workplace exodus of skilled workers in these functions — with a drop of 17% in the past two years.
From the boomer generation starting to leave the workforce to job seekers transitioning to more alluring career paths in finance and technology, the talent gap has led to employers offering salary increases to win over talent or utilizing temporary consultants to manage workloads. Both are tactics in line with current hiring trends as we head into the second half of the year.
Our latest Salary Guide’s No.1 theme for 2023: money matters. And, according to Salary Budget Planning Survey by WTW, this could continue into next year.
“While we are seeing lower salary increases forecasted for next year, they’re still well above the ones we’ve seen for the past 10 years. This shows that companies are striving to stay competitive in an everchanging work climate,” says Hatti Johansson, a research director at WTW. “Those companies that have a clear compensation strategy as well as a pulse on the factors affecting it will be more successful attracting and retaining employees while keeping pace with an evolving environment in which yesterday’s certainties no longer apply.”
Our 2023 compensation report has current salary data for more than 40 accounting and finance roles to help employers ensure they are offering their prospective and current employees competitive salaries that are at or above market rate in their region.
Other key motivators of today’s workforce are engaging company cultures, as well as organizations that emphasize employee development and encourage feedback outside of annual reviews. One great way to make this part of your business’ operation? Regularly scheduled stay interviews to help establish an open line of communication.
The candidate shortage offers an exciting environment for seasoned accounting professionals. For one, experienced talent in this sector are particularly desirable in the current hiring landscape — paving the way for career opportunities that provide the growth, pay and benefits that are most important to them.
Secondly, this is an ideal time to explore additional job duties through temporary or contract work. Is there a software or industry that you’re looking to explore, but don’t have the chops for a direct hire role? Consulting provides the flexibility to tackle assignments on a temporary basis, allowing accounting and finance professionals to grow their experience and networks at various companies with competitive compensation. Many employers are more open to temporary hiring solutions as they navigate the changing market environment.
Partnering with staffing and recruiting experts can help in this quest — identifying job opportunities not currently on job boards and advocating for top-notch benefits and pay on your behalf. Contact our team today to get started!