What we are about to share with you shouldn’t be new to anyone and in fact the only news here is that somewhere 9.1% of public company hiring managers and 14.8% of hiring managers private companies are not struggling to find talent. Well, that’s what they reported to Deloitte, anyway.
Sheryl Estrada writes in Fortune:
Deloitte shared new data with me that revealed that 82.4% of hiring managers for accounting and finance roles in public companies said retaining talent is a big challenge, compared to 68.9% of hiring managers. recruitment in private companies.
In addition, 82.3% of hiring managers in public companies expect to have to work hard over the next year to attract and retain employees. Meanwhile, 73.7% of hiring managers at private companies said the same.
So that’s about 80 hiring managers from public companies and 142 hiring managers from private companies who said they don’t expect to face challenges in attracting and retaining accounting and finance talent. Way to stay positive, y’all.
Deloitte’s Matthew Hurley (Senior Director, Advisory) told Fortune they don’t know why public companies seem to have bigger talent problems than their private counterparts. “We found that very interesting, and these public company hiring managers seem to be having a harder time than their private company counterparts,” he said. “I don’t know if we have a good line of sight on what is causing this discrepancy. It could be a number of things, [such as] the size of the company, the size of the teams, the complexity of the work, the stability of the work-life balance or even the location. I think there are so many subjective and personal issues that play a role.
The nearly 1,200 recruiters surveyed identified three areas that put pressure on their talent needs:
- The need for more staff in existing areas where workloads are increasing (34.3% public; 38.6% private)
- Obtaining talent with technology skills (23.4% public; 20.5% private)
- Attrition caused by the Great Resignation (21.9% public; 17.5% private)
This last one is a bit interesting. We know from the hundreds of hours we spend on Reddit and Fishbowl as well as 13 years of articles on this website that compensation (vs. work-life balance, i.e. say) is probably the biggest factor driving accounting job jumps at the moment, however, Hurley — in Deloitte grunt fashion — says salary isn’t everything.
“While the majority of hiring managers in our survey said employees were leaving for higher pay (57.9% public; 46.2% public), there were other impacts as well,” Hurley says. About 18.7% of respondents from public companies said employees left for a better title, compared to 14.4% of those from private companies. Respondents also said that talent who left their jobs changed industries (5.8% public; 8.3% private).
“I think that underscores again that it’s not a problem that you can necessarily just throw money at,” Hurley says. “We’re going to have to think about what’s important to our people.”
Well, you could start by not working people like dogs. It’s a good step.
Despite AICPA data showing a decline in accounting enrollment and degrees since a peak in 2015-16, Hurley says the problem isn’t that students are less interested in accounting in general.
“I don’t think it’s a decline in interest in finance and accounting,” he explains. “Anecdotally, what we hear when we have conversations with controllers and CFOs is that finding talent with that right mix of deep accounting and finance experience coupled with deep technology capabilities creates many challenges right now.”
But there is also pressure to keep the younger generation interested in finance and accounting careers and provide them with the right skills. “A few of the universities I know are doing everything they can to really engage with finance and accounting leaders to understand what [training they need to provide] to ensure their graduates are successful,” says Hurley.
“If you look at the curriculum for an accounting major today, at many universities you will see that they take courses in machine learning, robotic process automation, new courses in analysis and statistics,” he said.
On that last point, what we hear and read is that a fair number of business students are moving away from the accounting path to intermediate accounting – nothing new there – and when they get into business analysis, they realize they can apply those skills to industries that pay better than accounting. So what the profession needs to stay ready for the future is what attracts talent at the university level. Shocking revelations abound.
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