By Laurie Vicente, CSMP | April 1, 2014

Talent and Experience Key for Job Seekers in Accounting, Finance, and IT for 2014

CHICAGO (March 26, 2014) — Despite a bitter cold winter, human resources professionals and hiring managers anticipate an increase in business growth leading to the hiring of more accounting, finance, and IT professionals, according to the Brilliant™ Q2 2014 Hiring Forecast.

The forecast, conducted by Brilliant and Dr. Richard Curtin, professor and director of surveys at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, indicates increased optimism among businesses in the accounting, finance, and IT industries for the remainder of 2014.

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

The forecast anticipates an increased demand for employees, which could lead to increased challenges related to retention as employees have more options available to them. HR professionals and hiring managers plan to turn their attention strongly towards retention and recruitment, to prevent a decrease in overall employee numbers from creating a drag on their companies. They believe the most critical part of this task will be finding employees who have the right skills and expertise, and who are also comfortable in the roles they are expected to fill.

“The across the board anticipated increase in hiring shows renewed confidence in the rebound of the economy,” comments Jim Wong, CEO of Brilliant. “HR professionals and hiring managers know they need to compete for employees who have the skills and expertise to help their businesses take advantage of the growth we’re seeing for 2014.”

Details in select categories reinforce the sense of optimism respondents are feeling.

Growing Economic Strength.
Despite the impact of weather on the economy, which includes lost work hours, 37 percent of HR professionals and hiring managers thought the economy had improved in the first quarter of 2014. Furthermore, 45 percent said they felt there would be continued improvement during the remainder of 2014.

Increased Hiring Planned.
An increased pace of hiring of accounting, finance, and IT professionals was planned by 24 percent of surveyed firms. This is a one percentage point increase from the last quarter, and an eight-point increase from last year.

Net Gains in Total Workforce.
A total of 32 percent of respondents indicated they anticipate a net increase in their company’s accounting, finance, and IT workforce this year.

Unfilled Positions.
Going into the second quarter, 58 percent of respondents said they had unfilled vacancies in IT, accounting, and finance. Additionally, more than half said these unfilled positions were the result of applicants who lack the experience or skills needed for the positions.

Retention and Loss of Key Talent.
Two-thirds of respondents indicated they had no loss in key talent during the previous 12 months. The balance reported improvement in retention. However, 31 percent of all firms do anticipate the loss of some key talent in the coming quarter.

Assessment of the Talent Pool 
When asked what top skills and characteristics HR professionals and hiring managers look for when hiring finance, accounting, and IT professionals, the top choice, at 45 percent, was cultural fit. This was followed closely by expertise and experience at 41 percent each, and problem solving at 33 percent.

The two largest skill gaps remain creativity in problem solving, and expertise, at 45 percent and 43 percent respectively.

Social Media Usage in Recruiting.
The survey found 44 percent of firms would increase the use of social media in their hiring process. However, referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations remain the top hiring tools, with 47 percent citingsuccessful outcomes when using them to source new hires.

About the Brilliant Hiring Forecast
The Brilliant Hiring Forecast, established in 2012, is a quarterly survey of human resources professionals and hiring managers in accounting, finance, and IT from a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, consumer products, service, financial services, professional services, retail, real estate, and non-profits. It is conducted by Brilliant and Dr. Richard Curtin, professor and director of surveys for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

The Q2 2014 Brilliant Hiring Forecast includes responses from 161 professionals, surveyed from February 20 – March 17, 2014.

About Brilliant
Brilliant specializes in professional temporary and permanent staffing, as well as management resources for accounting, finance, and information technology positions in Chicago and Ft. Lauderdale. Using a unique consultative approach to develop a heightened awareness of both client hiring needs and candidate talent, Brilliant delivers a higher value and the right candidate every time. Brilliant represents large publicly traded Fortune 500 companies and leading privately held entities from a broad range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, health care, consumer products, service, financial services, professional services, retail, real estate, and not-for-profit. Complete information about Brilliant is available online at

Media Contacts

Mary Anne Keane
Earned Media Director
Arment Dietrich
(312) 213-1209

Jim Wong
(312) 582-1701

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