By Jim Wong, CPA | March 9, 2016

How up-to-date are you with the hiring trends affecting your profession?

Spring is a time for renewal. Just as the ground thaws and flowers bloom, professionals and businesses tend to refresh. In fact, the demand for accounting, finance and information technology professionals is projected to continue to grow even stronger in Q2 2016 – with the highest spike in open positions and intentions to fill them since this same time last year.

How can we be so sure?

Every quarter, Brilliant™ and Dr. Richard Curtin, Director, Surveys of Consumers, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, conduct a study on the hiring trends affecting the accounting, finance and IT professions. Based off of data collected from proprietary entities in the greater Chicago and south Florida markets, I know that hiring plans are projected to remain healthy in the coming quarter, especially for IT.

So, what else does the data say?

I thought it’d be best to summarize the information that we’ve collected and analyzed into in the Top 11 Hiring Trends for Accounting, Finance and IT in Q2 2016 below.

1. How many companies are reporting open positions?
For accounting and finance positions, 45 percent of survey respondents reported one or more openings – up from 34 percent last quarter. Open IT positions were reported by 44 percent of survey respondents – up from 37 percent last quarter.

2. How many positions remain open?
The number of companies reporting 10 or more unfilled positions increased to 10 percent from 6 percent last quarter. For IT, 16 percent of survey takers reported 10 or more unfilled IT positions, up from 10 percent last quarter.

3. What’s the length of time the positions have been unfilled? 
The data indicates that hiring managers and human resources professionals have kept up with expanding demand for accounting / finance professionals, but have shown less progress with increasing demand for IT. IT positions that remained unfilled for more than three months rose to 16 percent, up from 10 percent this time last year; IT positions that remained unfilled for more than three months doubled.

4. What types of unfilled positions are there?
The most common type of open accounting / finance role, mentioned by 30 percent, was in corporate accounting, including financial analysis, tax, general accounting and internal auditing. For open IT positions, the largest growth compared with last quarter was in openings for software development and database administration.

5. What are the expected hiring plans over the next 12 months? 
Planned hiring of accounting / finance was still quite robust, with 18 percent planning to increase their hiring, down from 21 percent last quarter. For the second consecutive quarter, one-in-four sur-vey takers reported plans to increase their IT teams during the year ahead. Just 4 percent planned to decrease hiring for IT positions.

6. What’s the planned timing to hire?
Among the companies with unfilled accounting / finance positions, 73 percent wanted to fill the roles ASAP. For open IT positions, about half wanted to fill open positions ASAP, and the other half planned to do so within the next quarter.

7. What’s the percentage of companies currently employing temporary professionals?
44 percent of survey takers reported having temporary accounting / finance teams currently in place, and 38 percent for IT. Compared to the previous quarter, there was an increase in temporary accounting / finance professionals and a minor decrease in temporary IT professionals.

8. How many companies plan to hire additional temporary professions?
Plans to hire additional temporary professionals for accounting and finance fell slightly from 17 percent last quarter to 14 percent. Plans to hire temporary IT professionals fell slightly as well from 24 percent last quarter to 23 percent.

9. What’s the biggest skill missing from qualified candidates? 
Problem solving was the number-one skill missing from accounting and finance professionals at 32 percent compared to 24 percent last quarter. For IT, the largest change reported from last quarter was on cultural fit, falling to just 9 percent from 23 percent, the lowest gap for IT candidates in the past year.

10. What the number one successful source?
35 percent (down from 40 percent last quarter) for accounting / finance and 29 percent (down from 31 percent last quarter) for IT, found search and recruitment firms as the number-one source for successful new hires.

11. How many companies use social media to recruit talent?
Slightly over half of all respondents used social media as a recruitment tool — 57 percent (up from 55 percent last quarter) for accounting / finance and 54 percent (up from 49 percent last quarter) for IT.

What are some other trends you expect to see in the coming quarter? Comment below and let us know!

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