A candidate’s market as accounting and finance roles rise

A leading Irish recruitment firm has reported a 52pc increase in jobs in accounting and finance for the first half of 2021, compared with the same period in 2020.

For those considering a career in the industry or a shift in direction, there has never been a better time to move, with the demand for candidates at an all-time high, according to Matrix Recruitment managing director, Kieran McKeown.

This increase can be seen right across the industry’s spectrum of work and includes roles such as auditors, financial controllers, project managers and loan specialists.

“It is a candidate’s market at the moment for the industry and now is the time to be looking at a career in the area, whether you’re a graduate or an experienced finance professional looking for a change”

The demand for candidates is not confined to Dublin, with jobs available right across the country, with particularly high levels in Limerick, Kildare, Waterford and Wexford.

Spike in demand

Man in grey suit with arms folded.

Kieran McKeown, managing director, Matrix Recruitment

“It is a candidate’s market at the moment for the industry and now is the time to be looking at a career in the area, whether you’re a graduate or an experienced finance professional looking for a change,” advises McKeown.  “But the spike in demand won’t necessarily last, so jobseekers should act now to get the best opportunity.”

This significant growth in demand for accounting and finance talent could be down to a number of factors including the easing of restrictions meaning companies are now putting the accelerator on hiring again but also the impact of Brexit, including free movement changes that can lead to skills shortages.

“What I want to stress is that if you are an accounting or finance professional that has been on the fence about exploring new roles over the last year, now is the time to get out there and start applying as there is more choice at your fingertips than there has been for quite some time. Companies are offering very lucrative packages to attract the right talent and it’s the best time to negotiate.  But this demand will ease off as more and more jobseekers come forward to compete for these positions.

“Many employees have indicated that they are unsatisfied in their current job, in fact over 40pc stated this in a recent survey we conducted. At the same time, with the difficult year that has been, it’s understandable that people have been hesitant in leaving their jobs and exploring new opportunities.

“Now, we will gradually begin to see people come forward and explore what’s available to them. So, while the demand for talent is greatly outweighing the supply of jobs in this field at the moment, that won’t always be the case.”

McKeon said that accounting is a lucrative career option with few roles that are as critical to a company’s success.

“One of the benefits of working in accounting is that the skills are highly transferable. You could explore working in the financial services industry, banking, government, healthcare, retail – the list goes on as practically every business you can think of has a need for accountants.”

Approximately 47pc of the accounting and finance jobs offered by Matrix at the moment are on a contract basis, which Kieran believes is even more reason to explore available opportunities.

“Contract roles offer greater flexibility, without either party having to commit long-term, but also can be more financially rewarding with higher salaries or weekly rates on offer. It’s definitely something to consider and we are seeing a growing number of candidates select contracting roles specifically because of the flexibility on offer,” McKeon said.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 12 July 2021