By Laurie Vicente, CSMP | June 24, 2014

Renewed Hiring Trends Emerge As Economy Continues
Steady Growth:Unfilled staff positions escalate as firms prepare for growth

CHICAGO, Illinois (June 23, 2014) — Despite the economy’s slow but steady march along the path to recovery, businesses in accounting, finance and IT are reporting a significant increase in unfilled staff positions, according to the Brilliant™ Q3 2014 Hiring Forecast.

The forecast, conducted by Brilliant™ in conjunction with Dr. Richard Curtin, Professor and Director of Surveys at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, indicates clearly that the recent economic instability and slow pace of gains was a direct contributing factor to businesses adopting a more conservative outlook towards recovery planning.

“As the pace of economic growth improves, firms desire to improve upon their business by retaining key talent and hiring additional people,” notes Dr. Curtin.

The recent economic environment, however, has worked against this common practice.

The survey indicates two–thirds or 65 percent of all respondents reported they currently have unfilled positions on their accounting, finance and IT staffs. This figure was above the 58 percent posted just three months ago, and 14 percent above last year’s number.

Growing Economic Strength
But all is not doom and gloom. HR professionals and hiring managers rated overall economic conditions for their company more favorably in the Q3 2014 survey than anytime in the past year. Across all companies, 43 percent reported the economic situation of their company had improved during the past year, up from 37 percent last quarter and 34 percent last year.

Because of the hiring lag caused by the recent economic uncertainty, and due to the more favorable economic conditions companies face today, businesses expect to see increased hiring of accounting, finance and IT professionals during the year ahead.

“Hiring top talent is no easy task, nor is it accomplished quickly,” commented Jim Wong, CPA (Inactive) CEO of Brilliant™. “Businesses want employees who are not only skilled at their jobs, but fit in with the company’s culture.”

Since the costs of hiring and training are large, HR officers and hiring managers have made extra efforts to identify well–qualified candidates for their unfilled accounting, finance and IT positions.

“It’s not uncommon, as seen in this survey, that companies hire temporary employees as a means to determine their skills and cultural fit in their firms,” said Dr. Curtin. “Some survey respondents mentioned it was their usual practice to hire temporary employees as a means to screen for the best fit for their firms.”

The economic downturn and subsequent downsizing during the recession also afforded companies the opportunity to alter the way they ran their organizations.

“Nearly half of all firms surveyed used this time to undergo significant restructuring in order to match changing trends in their markets,” commented Wong. “And with the most robust hiring plans seen in some time, planned staff additions represent solid evidence for firm expansion during the year ahead.”

Increased Hiring Planned
An increased pace of hiring of accounting, finance and IT professionals was planned by 28 percent of surveyed firms. This is a five percent increase over last year.

Anticipated Net Gains in Total Workforce
Staff expansion was anticipated by 35 percent of all firms, up from 32 percent in the prior quarter and 25 percent last year.

Intentions to Hire Temporary Labor
Among all firms, 16 percent reported they planned to increase the number of temporary employees they hired in the Q3 2014 survey, up from 13 percent in Q1 2014, and nearly identical to last quarter.

Assessment of the Talent Pool
When asked to identify the biggest gap in the skills of job seekers, the latest survey found increasing emphasis on expertise as the largest gap, cited by 43 percent in Q1 2014, up from 39 percent in the prior quarter and 33 percent in Q2 and Q3 of 2013.

Social Media Usage in Recruiting
The survey found a near universal agreement that LinkedIn was the top social media choice for recruiting top talent, selected as most effective by 97 percent of all HR professionals and hiring managers. Among users of social media to recruit, 28 percent spent under $2,500, 26 percent spent $2,500 to $10,000, and 26 percent spent more than $10,000 on social media advertising.

About the Brilliant™ Hiring Forecast

The Brilliant™ Hiring Forecast, established in 2012, is a quarterly survey of human resources professionals and hiring managers in the accounting, finance and IT professions within a variety industries, including manufacturing, distribution, health care, consumer products, financial services, professional services, retail, real estate and nonprofits. The study is conducted by Brilliant™ in conjunction with Dr. Richard Curtin, Professor and Director of Surveys for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The Q3 2014 Brilliant™ Hiring Forecast includes responses from 181 professionals, surveyed between May 12 and June 6, 2014.

About Brilliant™

Brilliant™ is a boutique search and staffing firm in the Chicagoland area and south Florida that specializes in the finance, accounting and information technology professions. Brilliant™ empowers job seekers with the latest resources and opportunities, and partners with businesses of all sizes to help find top talent. Brilliant™ works within a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, consumer products, financial services, professional services, retail, real estate, not for profit and more. The Brilliant™ logo is based off of the Chinese translation of the sun and moon combined which creates a heightened awareness, or a brilliant state of mind.

For more information on Brilliant™, visit, email, call 312.582.1800, or follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+.

Media Contacts

Mary Anne Keane
Earned Media Director
Arment Dietrich

Jim Wong, CPA (Inactive)

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