Has Brexit made recruitment/headcount decision making like standing on a jelly?

In the midst of the Brexit uncertainty – will we/won’t we argument – we’ve noticed some interesting trends influencing recruitment specifically in the finance and accountancy arenas; both areas in which we excel. Has Brexit made decision making like standing on a jelly? Let’s find out.

Continuity and quality

Through our relationships with hiring businesses, many of the requirements of the business we are working with have been unmoved. For instance, clients have maintained their desire and zeal for ACA accountants making their first move away from practice into industry. In other parts of industry, commercial Finance Business Partners with excellent communication skills are keenly sought and demanded. Positive news for candidates to start with.

The growing influence of finance

We’ve blogged eagerly on the growing influence of the finance function in the evolving growth of enterprises. Their influence stretches far and wide; operational and strategic. The next trend underlines this. For direct sales, Finance is unequivocally adding value to within the business, and one additional area where the team and its professionals are excelling is in FP&A roles. Financial planning and analysis is providing key insight and demonstrable benefits to its host business.  The demands on accountants have grown. When interviewing for a new job, accountants need to be prepared to answer questions in interviews that are directly linked to what value they’ve delivered in previous roles:

  • What have you implemented to save time and money?
  • Where have you adapted sales strategy to improve margin and profit?
  • How have you partnered with the Sales teams and Senior Directors to improve cash flow?
“…clients have maintained their desire and zeal for ACA accountants making their first move away from practice into industry.”

Naturally, this is not an exhaustive list, but these are key themes being asked in the interview situation. Applicants need to be prepared. If you are a candidate through MRK Associates, we will provide a stream of interview advice and areas you need to be knowledgeable on. This is your moment, and we’ll help you!

Are businesses using short-termism for their recruiting needs?

Businesses large and small, UK or multi-territory, have all been casting an eye over our Brexit negotiations and still we don’t have a ‘deal’ with EU counterparts. The Prime Minister has repeatedly stated we will leave on 31 October ‘come what may’. Whether you applaud this approach or not, it would – you would think – play on the minds of hiring organisations and not overly commit them to permanent hiring – proactive or contingent. As each day passes, there seems to be more argument, more issues and more palaver about what the UK is going to do – or not do – so this is only going to worsen.

However, in terms of interim hiring, we thought we would see an uplift in job flow in the first quarter of 2019 as companies held fire on their permanent hiring due to the EU uncertainty but needed immediate cover – however that wasn’t the case. We had the usual reporting and statutory accounting roles in line with year-end requirements but companies paused their large projects which meant a significant lack of commercial interim positions.

As we got through 31st March with no Brexit, businesses stuck to their strategic plans and they are carrying on doing so now; they need the talent to grow and this has manifested itself in the hiring requirements which have improved in all areas as the year progresses. At MRK Associates, we’ve actually had a steady flow of both permanent and interim jobs which tells us that although we have the uncertain times this is not impacting recruiting talent too much.

In fact, in the middle of writing this, we have had a world-renowned Blue Chip call me needing an interim Commercial Business Partner at paying £400-450/day so the market’s not too bad!!!

What is clear, talent is being hired at all levels. The Qualified professional is highly sought and that’s reassuring, but organisations are taking their time to make sure they hire the right person.

“What is clear, talent is being hired at all levels.”
Congratulations to the newly Qualified ACA professionals!

Congratulations to all the ACA Qualified accountants who recently received their results. We have subsequently seen a marked rise in ACA candidates registering with us – we are looking forward to helping them build some exciting new steps in their careers.

Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.

MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.

For more information, please telephone 01442 894555 or email: info@mrkassociates.co.uk

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