Leadership & Productivity

Businesses looking to hire finance professionals, but rate of growth remains slow

3 min read

24 August 2017

Former special projects journalist

Finance professionals are in high demand with just over a quarter of employers are looking to hire in the coming months.

Finance professionals are in high demand when it comes to SME recruitment, with just over a quarter of employers planning to hire more accounting and finance roles in the coming months.

Marcus Blackburn, associate director, that that large, shared service centres in the North West of England and the Midlands have played a “key role” in driving demand for finance professionals.

These are in mid and back office roles in areas such as regulatory compliance, where ongoing scrutiny on banks and financial services firms have made these areas a high priority for business leaders.

The research from Robert Walters also revealed that mid-level professionals are the most sought after, with 61 per cent of businesses hoping to hire at this level. Junior level professionals are also in high demand, with 52 per cent of employers looking for newly-qualified accountants.

“The role of finance functions has broadened in recent years, with businesses looking for staff who can demonstrate business acumen in order to provide valuable commercial insights to senior managers,” said Blackburn.

“In particular, as businesses prepare for a period of transition as Britain negotiates its exit from the EU, mid-level finance professionals who can provide insights to ensure long-term financial viability are highly sought after.”

According to specialised recruitment agency Morgan McKinley, July marked the fourth consecutive month of growth in both jobs and job seekers.

However, the rate of growth has been slow and the year-on-year trends show an 11 per cent decrease in jobs available and a 33 per cent decrease in job seekers.

“The City of London is still haemorrhaging talent because of Brexit, and we risk losing jobs, too,” said Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services.

According to TheCityUK, nearly 2.2m people are employed in financial and related professional services across the UK. Two-thirds of these are employed outside of London.

Sitting along the research from Robert Walters are separate findings that suggest companies are hiring at a faster rate than previous years. Official data found British employers are hiring staff through recruitment agencies at a pace not seen in two years – with Brexit cited as a reason to take on temporary workers over permanent ones.

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.