By Jim Wong, CPA | January 7, 2015

A Brilliant™ Blog — Check In With Jim is back with all new blogs for 2015. We’ll continue to discuss important and helpful topics surrounding the accounting, finance and IT professions. Be sure to check in with Jim every Wednesday for our latest blog post!

Do you know how your profession is planning to evolve in 2015?

As we begin a new year, halfway through another decade, it’s important to stay in the know about the strength and status of your profession and how it compares in today’s job market.

Search, staffing and management resources firm, Brilliant™, in conjunction with Dr. Richard Curtin (Director, Surveys and Consumers at the University of Michigan) produces a quarterly Hiring Forecast filled with important information surrounding the hiring trends and economic factors affecting the accounting, finance and information technology professions.

The recently published Brilliant™ Q1 2015 Accounting, Finance and IT Hiring Forecast studied data collected between Nov. 11, 2014 and Nov. 25, 2014 from close to three hundred human resources professionals and hiring managers. The findings indicate an increased number of open accounting, finance and IT positions going into the first quarter of 2015. This signifies recent gains in business and a healthy work climate for said professionals.

Specifically, the research shows 30 percent (up from 28 percent last quarter) of companies in the study reported vacant accounting / finance positions, and 37 percent (up from 33 percent last quarter) reported vacant IT positions. In fact, the majority of companies reported one to three unfilled accounting / finance positions and 14 percent stated that their IT staffs had at least four positions currently open.

“While the majority of companies expected their hiring plans to remain unchanged in the coming year, most planned a constant (high) number of new hires,” explains Dr. Curtin. “Given companies in recent years needed to replenish their staffs from the downsizing that occurred during the Great Recession, the fact that hiring has remained unchanged at that same higher rate, is good news.”

Below are additional highlights from the Brilliant™ Q1 2015 Hiring Forecast:

Economic Improvement Continues
Almost half of the study participants (48 percent) indicated that the overall economic position of their company had improved during the past year, up from 36 percent at the same time last year. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) anticipated continued economic growth in the year ahead, significantly above 43 percent reported in the same quarter last year.

Types of Unfilled Positions
20 percent of study participants reported their open positions were mainly in corporate accounting roles such as financial analysts, staff accountants and internal auditors. For unfilled IT positions, an even split between database administration (13 percent) and network administration (13 percent) was reported.

Temporary and Contract Professionals
15 percent of study participants said their companies were planning to increase the number of temporary or contract accounting / finance professionals from what they were already utilizing, and 18 percent planned to increase the hiring of temporary or contract employees for IT — in the coming year.

This signifies that many companies have the confidence and budgets to invest in projects, and overall, the data provides solid evidence that companies are expecting growth in the number of new hires during the year ahead.

Social Media Effectiveness
Social media usage reportedly decreased slightly according to study participants. 53 percent (down from 60 percent) used social media to recruit accounting / finance professionals and 48 percent (down from 54 percent) used social media to recruit IT professionals. Further, LinkedIn was by far the most used platform for recruiting — not surprising since LinkedIn is the number-one professional social network in the world.

To access the full Brilliant™ Q1 2015 Accounting, Finance and IT Hiring Forecast, click here.

To download the 12 Trends to Look For in 2015 infographic, click here.

Do you have other insight to report on the hiring trends for the accounting, finance and IT professions? Comment below and let us know!

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