In a post-GFC world, firms are increasingly looking for “that perfect match,” Geoff Balmer, director at Richard Lloyd Accounting Recruitment, told Accountants Daily.
What that means for graduates is that degrees — which are increasingly more accessible to budding accountants — and impressive academic achievements are not enough to get a new recruit over the line.
“Rarely now will a firm hire just based on a good personality and skillset. Firms are looking for much more specific skills and definitely industry experience,” Mr Balmer said.
The increased expectations of employers hasn’t translated to an average increase of graduate pay, Mr Balmer said, although those entering the workforce with prior experience, like internships, do have more negotiating power.
Recruitment firm Hays has also not found that there has been a considerable rise in the salaries graduates can seek from their employers.
In better news, and as similarly reported earlier this week, Mr Balmer finds graduates are seeking more training and development opportunities than their predecessors, and are favouring these opportunities over salary considerations more than they were in pre-GFC times.