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News & Insights

Finance & Accounting Employment Market Update

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Historically, while remuneration is one of many important factors candidates contemplate when considering their employment, 2022 has shone a spotlight on salaries and seen pay rises becoming almost a non-negotiable when candidates change jobs. We recently surveyed hundreds of finance professionals over the past month and collated the following results, highlighting the major factors contributing to the shift.


​Are you anticipating that your staff will ask for pay rises this pay review cycle?

What percentage increase in wages are you forecasting your staff to ask for?


How likely are you to ask for a pay rise?

What increase are you looking for?

Data collected in June 2022 from the S&C database of approx. over 28,000 clients & candidates**

Migration (or lack thereof):
With borders opening fully in the past few months, we expected the flow of migrants to increase substantially from the lows of the pandemic. With Australia's immigration processes burdened by wait times and stricter requirements compared with places such as the UK and Canada, would be skilled migrants have in many cases chosen other countries to call their new home. In addition, Australia's tough stance on borders during the pandemic scared off a number of prospective migrants, particularly from the subcontinent when a number of recent migrants were stuck in transit when the delta strain was having an impact.

Restructuring (or lack thereof):
When the pandemic hit and uncertainty was high, organisations looked to their finance function to help them navigate through the uncertain headwinds. The recruitment market was tight, but mostly because candidates were averse to the risk of making a move in such a heightened period of uncertainty. With the arrival of JobKeeper and other stimulus measures, companies were able to hold on to their staff. Since then we haven’t yet observed businesses restructuring at the same pace as one generally saw in the decade leading up to the pandemic.

The Endless Musical Chairs Game:
Pre-pandemic, around 40% of permanent vacancies were filled by candidates that were immediately available (either through restructure or migration). In the last 18 months however that number has been closer to 5%, leaving 95% of placements being people currently employed, therefore creating another vacancy. This has driven a significant churn cycle which while the market remains tight, one would expect to continue. With so much activity, companies are not only competing with other companies to attract talent, but also counter offers from their current employer.

Where to from here?
We expect both migration and restructuring activity to normalise in time, however predicting when and how is much more difficult. Whereas restructuring has historically focused on the senior end of the market, our expectation is that the next round of restructuring activity could well focus on the mid and junior levels, since this is where the tight market has driven the greatest salary growth over the past 18 months.

Click HERE to reach out to our Finance & Accounting team.