The talent shortage is taking its toll on the accounting and finance industry. Recruiting talent has become the priority for almost 75% of finance leaders.
Eight out of ten accounting and finance leaders have had challenges finding the talent they need, and they report that top-level talent is some of the most difficult to find.
What’s caused the shortage, and how can it be reversed?
Accounting and finance industry challenges
Today’s accounting and finance talent shortages have developed in response to multiple factors rather than a single issue. Some of these factors have been in development for some time, creating a “perfect storm” when hiring new talent working in accounting, finance and taxes.
Industry experts point to several explanations for the shortages:
- Many baby boomers in the industry have reached retirement age.
- The accounting and finance industry attracts fewer candidates than in the past. The sector suffers from negative perceptions, many of which are due to a lack of positive branding.
- Many candidates have focused on niches in the industry, but they have not developed the holistic view necessary for today’s market.
- An overreliance on technology has left people lacking in skills like building relationships.
Unless industry leaders immediately fill the talent gap, the challenge will likely grow to unmanageable proportions.
Possible Ways to Solve the Problem
If you’re in the accounting and finance industry, you can help to reverse the talent shortage. To do this, make sure you attract and retain the best talent by:
- Showing the significance of accountant and finance work. Become an industry ambassador by speaking at conventions, attending career fairs and working with interns.
- Removing real or perceived barriers. Coach your hires to challenge professional licensing exams by providing the time and training necessary for acquiring special certifications.
- Focusing on understanding the people who work for you – both the candidates and team members. By getting to know the people in your organization, you’ll better understand how to help them succeed.
- Offering advancement opportunities that are clear and doable. Develop opportunities for growth in your company and nurture employee advancement through training and mentoring.
- Retaining the quality talent you already have in your organization. Development incentives that matter to employees include flextime, remote work options, and bonuses.
- Working with a recruiter who knows where to find the best accounting and finance industry talent.
The talent shortage in the accounting and finance industry won’t go away on its own. Attracting, developing, and retaining talent requires a systematic approach to hiring and a willingness to embrace change.