Badenoch & Clark | Q3 Market Insight: A&F blog

  • Matt Gascoigne
  • 30/11/2015
  • 12:00
  • Adecco Group

Report: with the market in rude health, balance of power shifts between employee and candidate.

As markets continue to recover and business looks to expand, the battle to secure the top talent naturally is becoming fiercer. In few areas is this phenomenon more pronounced than in Accountancy and Finance (A&F), where securing top talent is becoming increasingly challenging. Below, we analyse the candidate-led A&F recruitment market based on our Market Insight Q3 report and consider how candidates are using their newfound power to their advantage.

There’s no denying it. Employers in the A&F recruitment market are struggling to attract top talent. Demand is increasing, with, for example, the Midlands registering an 18% increase in roles compared to this time last year. At the same time, candidates are becoming increasingly clued up about the value of the skills they hold and the demand they are in.

This combination of more jobs and greater self-awareness amongst candidates has created more competitive recruitment conditions than we’ve seen in years. Indeed, our most recent Market Insight report found that, within the South East, some 30% of all offers made were rejected, almost exclusively because candidate had already accepted another role.

This struggle for top talent may be giving would-be employers a headache – but candidates are thriving. According to our Market Insight report, 36% of candidates in the South East rejected job offers when their salary expectations had not been met, and large numbers of candidates in Manchester were fielding multiple offers at the same time. In London, it would also seem that rejecting a job offer no longer carries the inherent risk of continued unemployment that it perhaps did before, with the average time candidates spend looking for a job reducing from 52 to 31 days in comparison to Q3 2014.

This battle for top talent in A&F has made employers more willing to invest in permanent hires when they manage to snap up a top new employee, as demonstrated by the overall increase in permanent hires across the UK, particularly in the South East, where there has been a 43% increase in permanent vacancies. In fact, the only region where permanent hires didn’t increase was the East of England, where both temporary and permanent jobs dipped compared to Q2.

All of these signs point towards a market in rude health. The market is increasingly candidate-led, with job seekers looking to take the next move in their careers able to take confidence in the fact that their talents are in high demand. The balance of power is shifting in their direction.