2022 Employment Trends: Accounting & Finance

Recovery from the pandemic continues to significantly impact the job market. We’ve asked our Accounting & Finance employment expert to weigh in on the changes they’re currently seeing in the hiring landscape, to help you understand the trends going into the second half of this year. 

Mike Bringle, one of our Palmer Group directors, oversees our Accounting & Finance division. He shares some valuable thoughts with us on what he is seeing so far. 

What trends or changes have you seen in your industry so far this year? 

Finding talent continues to be challenging. With the continued ability of remote work, we are experiencing companies from outside of the Midwest hiring talent to work remotely and in a lot of cases, paying them more than the local market rates. Locally, we are seeing companies provide more flexibility in their work environment and a shift to hybrid schedules. 

What types of candidates should hiring managers be looking for?  

Managers should look for professionals who are engaged and ready to make an impact on their organization. Even though the market is tight, make sure to look at the soft skills. Managers should also consider individuals who might have all the qualifications needed for the role but can be trained in the areas they might be missing. 

Technical skills can be seen on someone’s resume, but leaders should look for individuals who want to work and jump into the company from day one. 

What type of certifications/experience is important for job seekers? 

A strong technical base is needed for current job seekers. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certifications are always nice to have, but the experience is key for this industry.  

The work environment is also changing rapidly, employers should be looking for candidates who are comfortable with change and adapting.   
How can your department help companies with their hiring needs? 

Our team can help educate companies about what’s going on in the job market. Good candidates are moving quickly, and businesses need to have a hiring process that allows them to make quick hiring decisions. We can help companies develop a plan and steps in place before interviews begin. Our tenured account executives can also help companies walk through their entire process and figure out the best solution for their needs.   

What types of changes in requests/expectations are you seeing from job seekers? 

Candidates are asking more questions about positions during the interview process. They want to understand their work schedule regarding remote or hybrid options. If they work from home, do hours and expectations stay the same?  

When it comes to on-site, remote, and hybrid schedules employers are still trying to figure out what works best for their company. Leaders are constantly re-evaluating and most likely will be for the next year or so. We believe hybrid schedules will become common for many while weighing productivity and maintaining a personal connection. 

Retention is a current issue in the current job market. What are some key strategies you have effectively seen implemented to retain employees? 

On a micro-level, employers need to have one-on-one conversations with people on their team, ask for feedback on how they work best, and talk about differences between perspectives as needed. If managers have dedicated team members who are meeting their goals, leaders should give them the flexibility that works for them and the company. 

This can be challenging because it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. That is why open and honest communication is vital. If companies are willing to have these conversations, they will attract talent and succeed. If employers are too rigid, they will struggle. These conversations need to be revisited often in this current market, especially as people are remote because remote work requires a different level of intentionality to maintain effective communication.   

Most valuable advice you can give to companies right now? 

Continued focus on communication and transparency – you cannot over-communicate right now. With the current challenges, your message may not always be heard how you anticipate. Because of the lingering uncertainty, people are apprehensive and worried about what will happen with their roles in the future. No one has all the answers right now, and employees know that too; they simply want to know where they stand and that they are valued as employees.   

At Palmer Group, we are committed to making lives better. Whether you’re a job seeker or a hiring manager, we would love the opportunity to speak with you further about any of your employment questions or needs.