By Jim Wong, CPA | June 24, 2014

Slow and steady wins the race.

Brilliant™ released its quarterly Hiring Forecast for Q3 2014 this week, and while the economic conditions throughout the accounting, finance and IT professions are improving, new data shows unfilled staff positions are still running rampant.

Before we dive into what that actually means, and what (if anything) can be done to change it, let’s point out why it’s important to conduct these studies in the first place.

Let’s talk data.

A recent Forbes article describes what many companies are coming to realize. Author Natalie Burg explains, “With large amounts of data, organizations can identify patterns and build new models to predict future actions rather than simply analyzing the past through the old standard of descriptive analytics.” And, Brilliant™ is making a concerted effort to do just that.

Since 2012, Brilliant™ has conducted a comprehensive study each quarter surveying hiring/HR managers in the accounting, finance and IT professions. The Brilliant™ Hiring Forecast not only educates employees and hiring companies on what’s likely to come in the near and far future, it also shows the search and staffing firm’s dedication to the professions as a whole.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the highlights from the report.

Economic Optimism and Strength

While companies have been slowly regaining their strength over the past five years, the majority of survey respondents say they’re anticipating an accelerated pace for hiring new accounting, finance and IT talent in the year ahead. This is good news seeing that companies had previously implemented a conservative hold with organizational restructuring and hiring freezes to match changing trends. But now, 43 percent are reporting that their company’s economic health has improved since this time last year. Therefore, the reality that companies are building robust plans to increase hiring within their firms relatively soon is a good thing.

Unfilled Staff Positions Increase

65 percent of all respondents indicated that they have unfilled positions within their accounting, finance and IT departments. While this percentage is up from 58 percent just three months ago, it doesn’t necessarily mean an immediate negative impact. In fact, with such favorable economic conditions facing companies today (80 percent indicated a better economic state than five years ago), businesses are expecting to see increased hiring of accounting, finance and IT professionals during the year ahead—a sign of strength within the labor market.

Assessment of Talent Pool

Since the cost of hiring and training can add up, decision makers are going extra lengths to ensure that they find highly–qualified candidates when they start the hiring process.

What constitutes high–quality talent?

According to the Brilliant™ Q3 2014 Hiring Forecast, this includes expertise within the respective position and a good cultural fit within the company. To test this, companies are hiring more and more temporary employees (16 percent up from 13 percent in Q1 2014) to make sure individuals work out in the role long term.

To read the Brilliant™ Q3 2014 Hiring Forecast in its entirety, download the full report HERE.

What trends do you anticipate within the accounting, finance and IT professions in the coming year? Comment below to let us know.

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