Current Status of Tax, Finance, Accounting, & Audit Employment Market

Gardner Resources

By Dina Gardner on September 22, 2015.

Welcome back from Summer!  We hope you enjoyed the great stretch of weather we had this year and that your Fall is off to a terrific start.

We have seen a perceptible shift in the market since our last newsletter in June.  Here are a few touch points to share with you as well as Gardner’s job market predictions of what lies ahead for the remainder of 2015.

1.  We experienced the busiest summer of job requests we have seen in years.  Summer, typically the slowest season for hiring, started off with a bang in June and the phone has been ringing off the hook ever since.  The last two weeks of August, which are notoriously slow, were insanely busy. A busy summer is typically indicative of an action-packed Fall so all indications are that hiring will continue to be very active as we head into Q4.  

2. The Perfect Storm: The most common refrain we heard from our hiring managers this summer: “Where are all the candidates?”  

The lack of applicants is a trend that started earlier this year and has continued to be an issue ever since. Most candidates in the Northeast, at all levels in Accounting, Finance, Tax and Audit, are working. If you’ve tried to hire a temp recently, especially at the more junior levels, you know how hard it is to find unemployed people.  If you’ve tried hiring on the perm side, you know the market is slim because of the lack of resumes you’ve received.

The demand for Staff Accountants, Senior Accountants, Financial Analysts, Senior Financial Analysts and Staff level Tax accountants continues to be the highest we’ve seen in many years. Those candidates in the 1-7 year range of experience have had a plethora of opportunities to choose from since the beginning of 2015 and especially as we closed out summer and headed into Fall.  The majority of candidates we’ve worked with at these levels have received multiple, solid offers from which to choose. We are quite confident this level of hiring will continue to be in very high demand in Q4 and Q1 of 2016.

Let’s add a few more wrinkles to the slim pool of available candidates and you’ll quickly see how the perfect storm continues to keep the supply of candidate’s at an all time low: Those candidates in the 1-7 year range of experience, again, the most common hiring request right now, are at a stage in their careers where they are looking at internal promotions which, in turn, keeps them from exploring the job market. Additionally, it’s the kick off of Tax Season so many Tax professionals are buried right now and will continue to be underwater until April 15, 2016.  More material for the perfect storm?  With year-end just a few months away, the added workload keeps many candidates off the market sheerly from the time constraints they are facing.  And of course, the promise of year-end bonuses keep many from leaving.  Let’s stir the pot with upcoming raise reviews, which many companies now aren’t paying out until the March time frame, and you can see another reason for the shallow pool of candidates. These are just some of the factors that create a vicious cycle that keep candidates from exploring the market, especially at this time of year.  We predict this lack of candidate availability will continue throughout the Fall and into Q1 2016, especially at the non-managerial levels.

3.  Trends in the market: The same two topics we discussed in the last newsletter are still trending: Candidates are receiving multiple job offers (see #2 above) as well as strong counteroffers. Both are important reasons to put the strongest, most compelling offer you can to your candidate of choice and to move your interview process along as quickly as you can so you can get a candidate on your team before your competition does.

4.  Job Market Bright Spots: We started seeing an increase of job requests at the senior levels of the market (Manager, Director, VP/C level) this past summer. Additionally, many of the jobs we engaged on at these levels were newly created due to strong sales numbers which created bright forecasts. We certainly hope to see hiring at the senior levels continue through the Fall and again, all indications look pretty promising.  

5.  Economic overview: While the the stock market, China’s economic situation,  interest rates and the price of crude oil continue to be wild cards, many areas of the economy are showing strong signs of growth.  For example, in August, sales of existing homes across the nation rose to their fastest rate since February 2007.  Additionally, the unemployment numbers for MA in August continued to be stronger than the national rate at 4.7% vs 5.3%. Auto sales are on track to reach record levels not seen in the past 15 years and anyone who has been anywhere near a mall in recent months knows that consumer spending is on the rise.

As always, we are here to assist if you have any questions regarding the state of the job market, are interested in conducting a job search or engaging Gardner to help you locate qualified candidates.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can lend a hand in any way.

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Wishing you all a great Fall!
Dina Gardner and the Gardner Resources Group Team

Dina Gardner, President
Gardner Resources Group
508.485.3120 or 508.626.1399

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