What Finance Positions Are the Most Difficult to Staff?

By Robert Half March 21, 2017 at 9:00pm

You’re looking for a senior financial analyst for your midsize company in Toronto. Five years ago, you were able to hire someone with five years of experience for less than $75,000. But in the year to come? It will be a lot harder to find top talent in accounting and finance positions — especially for companies that haven’t bumped up their salary offers.  

“Finding professionals with specialized skills continues to prove a challenge for companies,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations. “Hiring managers need to get creative, and consult a variety of resources when searching for their next employee."

What does the hiring market look like?

In a new Robert Half survey, 56 per cent of Canadian CFOs reported difficulty finding skilled candidates for professional-level positions. Almost one third of the respondents (30 per cent) said finding skilled talent for accounting and finance jobs is one of the greatest challenges faced by management.

What are the toughest finance positions to staff?

Companies are looking for financial professionals with well-rounded skill sets — both technical and nontechnical. According to the survey, these three accounting and finance roles are hardest to fill across Canada:

  • Accounting manager
  • Accounts payable / accounts receivable supervisor
  • Controller

What should employers do to attract job seekers?

Candidates with in-demand skills may have multiple job offers, so it’s important to reflect on how you’re selling your company to candidates, and make an effort to enhance your business’ appeal, says Scileppi. 

“Market your company as a great place to work with unique work-life balance options, an inclusive benefits package, and an engaging corporate culture that supports the career development and success of its employees.”

Is there any other hiring advice?

Companies should explore other ways they can attract top finance candidates to take their next career steps at their companies, such as: 

  • Show them the money: Consult resources such as the Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance to benchmark Canadian compensation trends for finance jobs you need to staff. If you’re offering to pay market rates or below, then you may have a hard time getting a return on that call.
  • Accommodate lifestyle needs: If you’re not able to pay above market for compensation, perhaps there are some special perks you company can give your employees and their families.
  • Offer career path opportunities: What skills and designations does the finance job you're trying to staff require, and what can be learned on the job? Consider this during the hiring process, and if you can present training and career development opportunities during the interview, it might be appealing to job seekers.
  • Get some outside help: "Consider using specialized recruiters, ask for recommendations from staff, and reach out to an extended network for help," says Scileppi. Specialized staffing firm, in particular, can identify and recruit the talent you’re looking for, and streamline your hiring process by adding invaluable market intelligence and career resources.

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