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By Gene Kim, Senior Vice President, Robert Half

I recently participated in a Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) which explored finance and accounting hiring trends and their impact on job seekers. We covered a lot of ground in the webinar, which was moderated by Terry Mormile, CPA, CAE, and Director of International Education and Career Services at IMA. I thought I’d recap some of the key takeaways from our discussion here, as this information can help inform your job search.

First, job seekers should be aware that this is currently a tight hiring market for candidates due to a significant shortage of skilled labor available for hire. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, 4.3 million workers voluntarily left their jobs during the month of January. Despite the persistence of the pandemic and economic conditions such as rising inflation, many companies are in hiring mode – and also expanding their business operations. Recent Robert Half Research found that 65% of companies that hire permanent staff add new positions, while only 33% expect to fill vacancies.

In tight markets, like the San Francisco Bay Area where I live, it’s especially difficult for employers to find workers. Signing bonuses, cash incentives, more paid time off, and job title upgrades are just a few of the strategies companies use to convince top recruits to join their organization. I know clients who use all of these strategies and more. However, in many cases, these offers are not enough, especially if the possibility of working remotely is not offered. In a survey conducted by Robert Half for our latest Salary Guide75% of respondents said they want to work remotely at least some of the time.

That said, here’s a recommendation for candidates: if you want to make yourself even more marketable, stay open-minded about the “where” of the job. Many companies are trying to figure out if they want to stick with a remote, hybrid, or in-office model in the future. So if you are open to different options, it could open doors for you in your career. Of course, you should also be upfront about your preferences and emphasize that you want to negotiate a flexible work schedule when the time is right.

View this post for tips on how to narrow down your remote job search.

The hottest industries and roles for finance and accounting professionals

In the recent IMA webinar, I also provided insight into where candidates might want to target their search for accounting and finance roles, based on research from Robert Half’s 2022 Salary Guide and what our recruiters are observing. first hand in the market. Nationally, the hottest industries for finance and accounting jobs include:

  • Financial services

  • Government

  • Health care

  • Assurance

  • Technology

And, as with specific jobs, our recruiters are seeing strong demand this year for:

If you want to know what kind of starting salary to expect for these positions, based on your skills and level of experience, check out our free salary guide.

Skills highly valued by employers in today’s hiring market

A question raised during the webinar was, “How have skills changed for accounting and finance roles because of the pandemic?” My response was that soft skills have become even more important due to the need for people to communicate effectively while working remotely. So, too, have leadership abilities. Technology skills, including the ability to work with cloud-based systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, are also highly valued by many employers.

Of course, Microsoft Excel skills are always in demand. As Terry Mormile of IMA explained, “Excel is a skill that won’t go away. It’s really fundamental to the accounting and finance industry. No matter how much we automate things, there is always has work that will return to Excel, which is why IMA offers Excel courses, including several courses on using Excel for predictive analytics.”

Check out this post which outlines five ways to upgrade your Excel skills so you can do your best in accounting and finance.

And… what about the one-page resume? Yes or no?

Another question that came up during our discussion of finance and accounting hiring trends was whether the one-page resume is still valid in today’s job market. The short answer is that it depends. I like to see applicants provide a one-page resume for 10 years of experience – or up to three pages for 30 years of experience. And for financial consultants, I love it when candidates provide a one-page resume that summarizes their skills and expertise and succinctly outlines what they can bring to the table.

These are just some of the main highlights from the IMA webinar, “A New Era: Top Finance & Accounting Hiring Trends”. I encourage you to review the full presentation, so you can learn tips for negotiating salaries, get an overview of perks and benefits trends, and more. You can watch the webinar for free on demand here.

Plus, if you’re interested in taking the management accounting route, consider signing up for a three-month free trial with IMA®, the global association of accountants and finance professionals in business. With more than 140,000 members, the IMA is one of the largest and most respected associations dedicated exclusively to advancing the management accounting profession.

About Gene Kim

Gene Kim is Senior Vice President at Robert Half, the world’s first and largest talent solutions company. In his role, Gene manages the firm’s finance and accounting permanent placement teams in the East Bay market in the San Francisco Bay Area. During his time with the company, he placed hundreds of accounting and finance professionals in full-time roles at companies of all sizes. Prior to joining Robert Half, Gene worked in consulting for an accounting firm and as a senior financial analyst at a large technology company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Berkeley.

Follow Gene Kim on LinkedIn.