Hays Ireland jobs and employment blog


How to attract the best accountancy and finance talent in today’s competitive hiring landscape

By Maureen Lynch, Director of Hays Ireland


Flexible working, better benefits and career progression

With unemployment in Ireland at its lowest level since 2008, and stiff competition for accountancy and finance professionals from SMEs and multinationals alike, accountancy and finance candidates are firmly in the driving seat when it comes to their own careers.

From payroll professionals to senior finance officers, accountancy and finance staff are in high demand. As a result, according to our Hays Ireland Salary & Recruiting Trends 2019 report, salaries in the field rose by an average of 1.9% over the last year. Even higher pay rises were seen in areas of particular skills shortages, such as newly-qualified accountants, particularly those trained in the ‘Big 4’ and those working in Dublin.

Rise in contracting work provides further opportunities for candidates

As organisations continue to expand and increase, many employers are keen to recruit temporary staff, with a view to making positions permanent in the future once staff have proved themselves. For candidates, the choice to take on a contract role may be appealing, particularly if it is within a multinational organisation or helps them broaden their own experience and professional development. Others may prefer the security of a permanent position, especially if it helps them to get on the property ladder.

With candidates often having multiple opportunities and multiple offers on the table, they really have their pick when it comes to selecting a role. However, employers need to be mindful of this. With candidates in control, what can you do to ensure you attract and retain the best accountancy and finance talent out there?

3 steps to beat the competition:

  • Flexible working hours: For many employees, flexible working hours such as working earlier in the morning or later at night will fit in better with responsibilities such as childcare or CPD, or it will simply serve to benefit their work-life balance. If your company offers flexible working, make it clear in your recruitment advertising that these options are available, to help you attract the best candidates.
  • Review your benefits package: While salary is important, many candidates are looking for more than just pay. Savvy employers will ensure the benefits package includes everything from generous annual leave to healthcare and discretionary bonus schemes. With the continued rise of global organisations in Ireland, you can be sure that if your company doesn’t offer it, the competition will.
  • Exam subscriptions and study support: Exams can be a big expense for unqualified and part-qualified staff, while study time can eat into an employee’s annual leave. A company which will pay exam subscriptions and give time off for study will take some of the pressure off a candidate and can expect to attract the very best staff.

To discover more insights about the accountancy and finance market, and the prospects for the next year for financial services as a whole, request your copy of the latest Hays salary guide here.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Maureen joined Hays in 2000 where she specialised in Senior Accounting and Finance recruitment. With over 17 years’ experience, Maureen is the Director for Cork, Limerick and Galway along with over overseeing the Banking and Construction & Property operations in Cork. She also provides training expertise in the area of candidate screening and interviewing.


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