By Jim Wong, CPA | September 16, 2015

What types of hiring trends can you expect?

As we approach the final quarter of 2015, it’s important to take a look at how businesses plan to round out the year. The talent pool is growing a little thin as more and more qualified accounting, finance and IT professionals are securing new roles. Therefore, companies are making greater efforts to locate the best professionals for their teams, offering higher wages, incentives, and the like, to land top talent. In fact, compared to the previous three quarters, businesses are reporting the highest number of expected open accounting and finance positions to date in 2015. Further, although there is a strong demand for IT positions, the number of open IT positions is reported to take a slight dip. Overall, Q4 2015 is expected to sustain its strength with businesses allocating efforts to grow and expand their accounting, finance and IT functions.

I can appreciate this data firsthand because of the recent study our company performed, the Brilliant™ Q4 2015 Accounting, Finance and IT Hiring Forecast. This report was produced with the Director of Surveys of Consumers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor – Dr. Richard Curtin. We conducted this study by surveying the thousands of contacts we have in the greater Chicago and south Florida markets. With the analysis of Dr. Curtin, we determined important hiring trends that will affect the accounting, finance and IT professions in the coming months.

Close to 400 human resources and hiring-decision makers responded to our survey between July 21, 2015 and August 5, 2015. The proprietary information we received came from a variety of industries including manufacturing, distribution, health care, consumer products, financial services, professional services, retail, real estate and non-profit organizations, among others.

What does the data say?

According to the Brilliant Q4 2015 Accounting, Finance and IT Hiring Forecast, companies still have a high percentage of unmet needs within their accounting, finance and IT functions, especially within accounting and finance. Moreover, the positions have been vacant for short periods of time with most companies planning to fill the roles as soon as possible.

Dr. Curtin explains, “The most interesting finding is that unfilled accounting and finance positions continued to increase, while unfilled IT positions declined somewhat. Open accounting and finance jobs were reported by 42 percent of survey respondents, up from 36 percent in the Q3 2015 hiring forecast and 30 percent in the Q4 2014 hiring forecast.”

I find that the study brings important insight into the future of accounting, finance and IT, and businesses strength overall. Despite the recent global economic challenges, businesses are reporting unmet accounting, finance and IT needs. We remain optimistic that hiring plans will remain strong for accounting, finance and IT professionals in the near term.

Types of Unfilled Full-Time, Permanent Positions

The data shows that Corporate Accounting and Technical Services roles have the most openings for accounting / finance and IT, respectively. 26 percent of companies reported corporate accounting i.e. financial analysts, tax, general accounting and internal auditors as having the most unfilled accounting / finance roles. For IT, 19 percent reported the most openings for infrastructure type of roles i.e. help desk and desktop support roles.

Missing Skillsets Among Qualified Candidates

The data indicates evidence that the talent pool has grown thin. For accounting / finance professionals, problem-solving skills was the number-one missing skillset gap with 27 percent, up from 20 percent in the prior quarter; followed by communication skills at 20 percent, up from 17 percent last quarter.

Unfortunately, the depletion of the talent pool was especially sharp for qualified IT candidates. Just 14 percent of survey takers reported no gaps in the skillsets of candidates, down from 19 percent in the last quarter and 36 percent three quarters ago. Among other missing skillsets, problem-solving skills rose to 18 percent from 9 percent three quarters ago, and gaps in expertise decreased to 25 percent from 30 percent in the previous quarter.

Have insight to other hiring trends for Q4 2015? Comment below and let us know!

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