By: Greg Thorpe

Speed is of the essence when recruiting finance candidates today. It’s a candidate’s market and that means employers have to move fast if they want to snap up available talent.

While this is great news for candidates looking for finance roles, it is a significant problem for companies either wishing to expand their finance function, or fill vacancies. There are a number of factors at play that have increased competition and reduced the available talent.

Here we explore the key reasons behind the shortage of candidates in the finance industry, and suggest strategies for employers to recruit and retain top talent.

3 Reasons you’re struggling to fill Finance Roles


1. Reduction in the finance talent pool

The 2008-2010 global recession resulted in many companies freezing training contracts as they looked to drive efficiencies and cost savings. First accountancy firms put their training on hold, swiftly followed by commercial businesses. Now we’re waiting for those rebooted training contracts to catch up, but in the meantime, there is a lack of newly qualified and up to 2 year PQE candidates coming to the market. All the while, senior finance executives have continued to retire without the junior talent pool being restocked.

2. More finance roles require a degree

Historically there were many finance roles that didn’t require a degree. College leavers were a popular choice for these roles and would gain experience and qualifications whilst working. However, there has been a shift towards employers prioritising graduates with degrees over other highly suitable candidates, and this has become embedded in recruitment strategies. 

3. Candidates are sitting tight

Brexit has created a great deal of uncertainty in the job market and those people that might have been looking for new opportunities are being cautious instead. A ‘better the devil you know’ attitude prevails and candidates are favouring the security of their current roles over career progression or new challenges.

The result of this shortage of available talent is pushing salary expectations up and increasing the risk of candidates being counter-offered.

So, what can Employers Do?

Perhaps the first line of defence is employee retention: keeping hold of your top talent and fighting off any advances from competitors. While you may not know if an employee is looking for other opportunities, it is worth taking a proactive approach to employee engagement to reduce the rate of employee turnover. 

At the same time candidate attraction and recruitment becomes extremely important. Your business needs to stand out from the crowd and play to your strengths. For example, as economic uncertainty and Brexit has made many candidates nervous about moving jobs, those well established businesses may find that that they offer more security than others.

Naturally it’s also important to offer a competitive salary in a candidate’s market, and where possible, additional benefits that help differentiate your company. 

Top talent in the finance industry is not hanging around, so if your business has any recruitment requirements you need to be quick off the mark.

If you have a finance role that needs filling, you can register your vacancy here.