By Jim Wong, CPA | October 6, 2016

Want to learn more about the hiring trends affecting your profession?

As we enter the final quarter of 2016, it’s important to take a look at how businesses plan to round out the year. The talent pool is tightening as companies continue to compete for top accounting, finance and information technology professionals. Subsequently, companies are offering higher wages, benefits, and culture perks such as flex time and remote options in order to win that war for talent.

Brilliant recently conducted a study, in partnership with University of Michigan professor Dr. Richard Curtin, Director of Surveys of Consumers, to take a look at these trends.

Overall, the study found one third of businesses reported unfilled accounting, finance and IT positions in the greater Chicago and south Florida markets. Further, their hiring plans were the highest recorded in two years.

This information is impactful for both accounting, finance and IT professionals of all levels and roles, as well as the companies looking to hire them.

Therefore, I thought it was most beneficial to share our findings with you. Take a look at the Top 5 Hiring Trends for Accounting, Finance and IT Professionals in the 4th Quarter of 2016 below.

1. How many companies reported open positions in the study?
For accounting and finance positions, 34 percent (only slightly down from 35 percent last quarter) of survey respondents reported one or more openings. For IT, 37 percent (slightly down from 37 percent last quarter) of survey respondents reported one or more open positions.

2. How many positions are currently open in the businesses surveyed?
23 percent of survey takers indicated 1 to 3 open accounting and finance positions. This was slightly higher than the 22 percent who reported 1 to 3 open positions last quarter. The increase from last quarter in unfilled IT positions was completely concentrated among companies that had 1 to 3 openings, rising from 17 percent last quarter to 26 percent, while businesses reporting 4 to 6 unfilled IT positions declined to 4 percent from 14 percent.

3. What’s the length of time the positions have remained unfilled? 
The length of time that the open accounting and finance positions have been unfilled has not significantly changed compared with the previous quarter, indicating that hiring has kept up just enough with their advancing needs. In comparison, the length of time that IT positions have remained unfilled has significantly declined. IT positions that have been open for more than one month declined to 16 percent, down from 25 percent last quarter.

4. What type of unfilled positions were most commonly reported?
The most common type of open accounting and finance positions, mentioned by 19 percent (down from 25 percent last quarter) was in corporate accounting—including financial analysis, tax, general accounting and internal auditing. For IT positions, the most common open positions included software development and database administration, according to 16 percent of survey takers (down from 20 percent last quarter).

5. What are the expected hiring plans for the next 12 months? 
This is the most significant outcome to come from the study. Among all businesses surveyed, 25 percent planned to increase their hiring of accounting and finance professionals, up from 17 percent last quarter and 20 percent last year at this same time. This is the highest level of hiring plans reported since 2014. While planned hiring of IT professionals was also strong, it was not a record-setting two-year peak as seen for accounting and finance.

Know of any other trends you can expect in the coming quarter? Comment below and let us know!

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