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Qualified job candidates ‘like gold dust’

With technical and regulatory changes on the horizon, as well as the march of technology and impending Brexit, suitably qualified accountancy candidates are in high demand this year, says Morgan McKinley’s Marcus Williams.

Marcus Williams

May 2018

We expect to see several trends influencing accounting and finance recruitment across London and the Home Counties. Regulatory changes with GDPR, MiFID II and PSD2 together with IFRS updates will dominate the banking sector, so there is a focus on candidates with strong technical skills and similar experience.

While there has been mixed demand for roles so far this year, within financial services, regulatory change is set to be a major driver for hiring as firms look for experienced professionals. We also predict that there will be a strong pipeline of finance business partnering roles, with demand coming from planning around Brexit, as well as digitalisation and technological change.

Recent changes in the IFRS space mean strong knowledge within this area is highly sought after. Business partnering and working with non-finance are both desirable, as technology changes and automation require people to be more involved with decision making. As ever, strong technical ability and confident commercial personalities are in demand; to secure top roles, you have to possess both.

Experience is the key for permanent roles at the moment. Premium salaries will be offered to key skill sets such as fund controllers with alternative asset class knowledge and strong financial accountants with knowledge of reporting standards.

Just as we’ve seen in recent years, Big Four qualified candidates are like gold dust. Stable CVs that display constant progression are high on the list, as are candidates who have proven experience on consolidations, and within a group finance team.

Technology will be a big driver, creating roles that partner change around new technologies as firms continue to automate MI and the improvement in systems has created requirements for accountants to use data in a more meaningful way.

Sector specific candidates are still required for certain businesses, and certain sectors especially FMCG, telecommunications and IT software businesses, are still looking to recruit within their sectors. There are a lot more technical finance roles, compared to finance business partnering opportunities of last year, suggesting that there are limited candidates with these skills in present roles.

Marcus Williams is senior manager finance and marketing at Morgan McKinley

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