At A+F Recruitment, we specialise in the placement of Accounting and Finance professionals. We work with clients and candidates across the 32 counties of Ireland. In this piece of qualitative research, my team and I personally interviewed 250 candidates who are actively on the market and looking for a new job/change of employer into 2024.
We spoke with both part-qualified and qualified candidates across all industries represented in the Irish market. We feel that it is very important to understand what is at the heart of people’s decisions to change jobs.
Major trends and observations
- Strong employer demand and higher earnings potential for accountants will continue to be the norm in Ireland into 2024.
- The results of a survey published by ACA shows a notable increase in the average salary package of newly qualified Chartered Accountants, rising 6.6% to €62,866 compared to last year.
- Ongoing demand for qualified accountants with 1 – 2 years’ industry experience.
- Increased numbers of trainees being hired by Big 4, with greater numbers/increased demand from graduates for training contracts in Corporate Finance and Advisory Services.
- There continues to be a shortage of Tax professionals across the country. Both industry and practice are really struggling to hire talent into their teams.
- The recent tech slide has created opportunities for more traditional sectors to hire candidates that they would not have had access to in the past.
- Whilst some companies are making gentle changes to hybrid working policies/arrangements, others are making aggressive u-turns and there is no doubt that this is coming at a cost. They are losing staff.
- Across many industries, companies are having to focus on other ways of attracting and retaining the best talent. Many businesses are investing in health and wellness programs, training and development opportunities and have increased their investment in benefits such as flexible working
arrangements and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) which continues to be a focal point in recruitment strategies.
- Flexible working can be a deciding factor for candidates when choosing to accept a role or not. Despite employers asking staff to come into the office more regularly in 2023, it is clear that in order to attract and retain staff, employers are going to have to continue to offer a level of flexibility
and choice when it comes to when and where staff work.
- While technical accounting skills remain important and in demand, strong interpersonal skills to go with these technical skills really are the “icing on the cake”. They will ensure that you are hired faster, paid more, and promoted more often.
- Sustainability is extending beyond environmental practices to hiring processes. Companies are trying to align their recruitment strategies with sustainability goals, considering candidates’ values and attitudes toward environmental responsibility.
- Automation and AI are no longer buzzwords in the Accounting and Finance sector but becoming part of normal practice, especially amongst Big 6 firms.