Harley Thomas, Melbourne Finance & Accounting Partner, discusses the current F&A market landscape and the trends we observed in 2022. He also touches on some proactive strategies that can be utilised by businesses to navigate current market challenges.
The Melbourne Finance and Accounting recruitment market experienced a significant shortage of candidates throughout 2022, particularly in junior to mid level positions. The return of skilled migrants and qualified accountants from the UK and Ireland was offset by the departure of many newly qualified CAs and CPAs who had been waiting through the pandemic for their opportunity to work and travel overseas.
The shift to remote work and the loss of collaboration and innovation has had a reported productivity impact in many areas, which has led to the hiring of additional heads in an already tight candidate market. The pandemic has created a seismic shift in the intentions and priorities of candidates, and the shift towards hybrid/flexible working models has become a key consideration for all candidates in the market. Mandating a full time return to the office, 5 days a week, for all staff has led to a notable departure of talent from organisations. Employers need to strike the right balance between remote work and office presence to retain high performing teams.
Businesses can navigate the challenges of rising salaries in the job market by leveraging the changing values and mindset of the emerging generation. A clearly articulated and presented employee value proposition (EVP) can be a powerful tool for attracting and retaining top talent. Some examples of what businesses have included in their EVP are increased annual leave, wellness initiatives, and enhanced parental leave.
Harley notes that macroeconomic uncertainties could impact the employment and recruitment markets over the medium and longer terms. However, in the short term, he predicts that candidate driven market dynamics will continue in 2023 due to ongoing talent shortages. Businesses may need to undertake restructures in the future to address rising cost pressures and talent market conditions. Future restructures may differ from those in the past, with a focus on mid level and lower level positions, in response to the acute rise in salaries in those areas over the past 18 months. Additionally, restructures may be seen as an opportunity to address market imbalances and parity issues (e.g., unequal pay, diversity gaps) that have emerged in recent years.
To read his article in more depth