Hays’ quarterly report found employers are less concerned about candidates’ technical skills than they are about their personalities and culture fit.
“A newer trend has been an increasing number of employers looking for candidates with excellent business development and communication skills,” according to Hays.
“Given the increase in technology and the decline in the value of compliance fee books, value-adding consulting services are more important than ever. Therefore employers want well-rounded accountants with good people skills.
“Given demand, strong candidates are able to negotiate their salary as well as additional benefits, such as CA or CPA membership. Firms have also increased their retention budget and are conducting salary reviews every six months.”
Auditors will remain in demand until September, according to the research, when the busy mid-year audit season wraps up.
“While audit seniors are preferred, employers are not always willing to offer the salary that a senior earns,” Hays said.
“Business services intermediates and seniors are required. Intermediates need to have experience in the profession and be part-way through their CA or CPA. Seniors need more experience, including advisory and reviewing work, and must have completed their CA or CPA,” Hays said.
Further, Hays is reporting “excellent opportunities” for business services managers with demonstrable experience managing a client portfolio. Business services undergraduates are also sought-after.
“Candidates require undergraduate experience in a good firm in order to demonstrate that they are committed to the profession and can offer more than those without any experience,” Hays said.