Companies looking to expand their accounting and finance teams are running into a problem. In the current economy, there just aren’t enough accounting and finance professionals to go around. While total U.S. employment is relatively low at just 4.1 percent as of December 2017, the unemployment rate for accounting and finance professionals is less than half that. This means more employers are having trouble filling job openings. There is also more competition to hold on to the talent they already have. So how can HR leaders respond to a climate in which accounting and finance talent is increasingly scarce? Here are three suggestions for how to win the hiring game in a tight labor market.
Inspire your existing talent
In public accounting, the war for talent has become a genuine crisis, with one in five firms experiencing turnover rates above 20 percent. This has led to an increased focus on keeping existing talent happy that all employers can learn from.
You can expect that the competition is aggressively pursuing your accounting and finance talent. To combat that, make your organization a place they don’t want to leave.
Millennials are the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, and they tend to judge the performance of a businesses on what it does and how it treats people. It’s crucial to show these employees how their job impacts both the organization and the world around them. Your company should be part of a bigger cultural story, and your employees should feel like part of it. This will inspire and engage them, and keep on board for the long run.
Promote what makes you unique
Getting employee buy-in for your organization’s mission and vision is no small feat, but it can have big rewards. When your existing employees believe in your brand and make it their own, they’ll become evangelists for your company, promoting your brand on social media, recruiting on your behalf, and pushing your company at events and in the community.
Besides building employee brand ambassadors, publicize what makes working for your organization special and unique. Include employee benefits as part of your corporate brand. Identify employees who have made the most of perks your company offers – such as flexible schedules, telecommuting, career development, and employee wellness – and share their success stories via testimonials and videos on your website and social media platforms.
Offer competitive compensation and perks
Offering more competitive compensation will always be the best way to bolster your chances of winning the hiring game. In Accounting Principals’ Google Consumer Survey of 337 professionals employed in accounting, banking, and finance, the number one most important factor of a job offer was salary (35 percent).
If budgetary restraints make increasing compensation a challenge, consider adding or improving non-monetary benefits such as:
- A relaxed dress code – more than half of employees in a Salary.com survey said a company’s dress code is important when it comes to accepting a job offer
- Full or partial telecommuting – according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 80 to 90 percent of the U.S. workforce says they would like to work remotely at least part time
- Additional opportunities for internal training – 87 percent of Millennials say professional development and career growth opportunities are very important
Finding and keeping talent in a tight labor market is one of the toughest challenges your organization may face. With today’s extremely low unemployment rates for accounting and finance professionals, the situation is unlikely to improve any time soon. Plan initiatives that will improve your organization’s internal and external appeal to stay on top of the hiring game.