Audit partners and HR directors who need qualified personnel for the upcoming accounting season have to expect a challenging recruitment process ahead of them. Competition remains as cut-throat as ever and firms cannot afford to be under-staffed. Recruiters have to be mindful of this fact and carefully select from among the available candidates, those who have the specific skills and expertise required to perform the jobs. Most of the time, conditional offers are issued after the candidate clears the interview and this is based on the successful completion of the written exam.
Outsourcing continues to be on the rise, with a significant increase in the number of jobs registered during the first quarter. Earlier, these positions were occupied at the home front, but nowadays specialization and diversification have come into play. Firms and companies are choosing to perform work only in their core competency areas and the majority of the other work is being outsourced to firms specializing in them. Accountancy work in companies is completed externally by accounting firms that need competent professionals to meet all the demands.
The software arena has experienced game-changing innovation with the introduction of cloud computing tools. The use of these tools has become highly popular. Those who are skilled in the use of these tools and the areas of the software will be in huge demand. Good and sound knowledge of Xero, QuickBooks and Sage Business Cloud will put candidates at an advantage.
A major problem the industry is facing this year is the restrictions placed on the non-EU workers securing roles that are under sponsorship in UK firms. In the past years, many areas struggled with the dearth of staff and these gaps were filled by non-EU workers. The reason for this is that, under the current system, there is an annual cap of 20,700 restricted sponsorship certificates available to sponsor non-EU workers. This cap has been divided unequally among the workers and there aren’t enough roles for everyone, hence the restrictions have been imposed.
The Big Four firms are expected to increase their recruitment for the next quarter and managers will finalise their staffing members for 2018 and 2019. A significant challenge for the group of clients could be the on-boarding of candidates requiring sponsorships. With respect to other markets which need candidates, the industry will continue availing the services of professional contractors until recruitment is completed. The need for accounting and outsourcing professionals will continue to rise throughout 2018. Job seekers must keep in mind two things: work culture and job benefits. Job benefits are comforts designed for more efficient performance such as flexible work timings and the option to work from home. It is important for employers to offer and provide both.