A consistent theme of 2019 in the Accounting and Finance space has been healthy demand for great candidates. Talent has been at a premium, which is great news for professionals on the hunt for something new.
At Hunter Campbell, it has indeed been busy on the recruitment and search front, despite some indications of a softening market.
Supply and Demand
Accountants with two to three years’ experience are very much sought after at the moment. This is particularly the case in Financial Accounting, an area where we are seeing salaries rise. Accountants with strong financial control and IFRS skills are a rare commodity from the Financial Accounting level right through to Financial Controller level.
In addition, we are seeing an on-going, increased desire for commercially-focused business partnering candidates. Even more so for candidates who have worked in FMCG or fast-paced, complex environments. This is where professionals returning from the UK can really benefit as many making the journey home have gained this experience offshore.
On the flip side, we are experiencing a slight decline in roles in the Transactional Accounting and Operational Finance areas. While this is a growing market for Hunter Campbell in both temporary and permanent recruitment, further automation will ultimately lead to a reduction of roles in these areas in the coming years.
A lot of organisations are increasingly putting value on looking forward, rather than backwards. As a result, job seekers with strong data analysis skills and exposure to Business Intelligence tools have an extra edge. Broad operational experience, good communication skills, commercial acumen and a solid understanding of systems are skills that will help secure an interview.
Across the board, we are seeing significant growth in the amount of businesses taking on contractors when a role becomes vacant. One of the main reasons for this is that finance teams are running lean and there is not a lot of additional capacity to spread workload around. Furthermore, there is a shortage of talent in the market and it can take some time for businesses to find the right person for the role. Having a contractor is also a way to ensure the intellectual property of the outgoing employee is retained and transferred, rather than lost when the role is vacant.
A positive is that a good portion of contract roles have been converted to permanent after a few months. While this is never guaranteed, starting as a contractor and making yourself indispensable means you are in pole position to be offered the permanent role. It also allows you to try out the environment and role to make sure it’s a good fit before committing.
If you’re open minded to taking a contract and you’re available, it can be a great chance to transition back into the New Zealand market.
What’s new at Hunter Campbell
Reflecting the ongoing strength of the employment market, we’ve had two new staff join our Accounting & Finance team at Hunter Campbell.
Consultant Sophie Berry started with us in August. She specialises in transactional Finance roles, running the end-to-end recruitment process for both temporary and permanent roles across the Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll and Assistant Accountant fields.
Rachel O’Brien joined us this month as a Para Consultant to assist with the recruitment process in our Contract and Temporary team. Hunter Campbell prides itself on our client and candidate experience and Rachel will be working hard to further improve the systems and processes that help us deliver this experience.
That brings our Accounting and Finance team to a perfect 10! Find out more about our people here.
In previous articles, we’ve talked about the uncertainty in the marketplace. Brexit, international trade relations and the slowing Auckland housing market are all factors that could impact on the broader economy, and therefore impact supply and demand in the Accounting and Finance employment area.
On a positive note, the New Zealand Dollar is holding up, the NZX is in record territory and interest rates continue to be low. For the June quarter, we saw the economy being buoyed by the services sector and we saw the unemployment rate drop 0.3% to 3.9%.
Business and consumer confidence is lower but this isn’t translating into a recessionary slump, certainly not in the Hunter Campbell world. We are working with large corporates, NZX listed businesses and ambitious, private equity growth-focused businesses that do not seem to be slowing down on the hiring front. In fact, its been quite the reverse and we’ve been sourcing a lot of senior roles for these firm’s accounting teams.
Added to this picture, the demand for Chartered Accountants in New Zealand is expected to grow 3% annually until 2026.
It might be that we see some flattening of the employment market in the coming year, but that’s to be expected after a few really good years. Our pick is that the economy will continue to tick over just fine in the coming months, and robust demand for top Accounting and Finance talent will continue for some time. Watch this space.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to know more about the Finance and Accounting market, contracting, salaries or you have any queries; please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always happy to help.