Competition for accounting and finance talent is tighter than ever, especially in the Dallas-Fort-Worth area. DFW now accounts for 22 of the 50 public companies in Texas to make it on the Fortune 500 ranking, and we are still growing. With the unemployment rate at 3.3% in the local market, finding skilled candidates is a definite challenge. This is particularly felt by employers seeking the mid-senior level roles where so much of the demand sits.
As Dallas-Fort Worth continues to thrive, employers are adapting in order to hire and retain the top talent within the Accounting and Finance industry. Here are some of the trends that employers need to keep an eye on this year:
Focus on Retention
The cost of hiring, training, and maintaining an employee is expensive, and replacing them is even costlier. As the cost to hire increases, companies are putting a bigger emphasis on keeping their teams in place. This includes higher compensation packages, providing professional development, and even relaxing their dress codes.
They are also looking at providing more of a work/life balance. Month-end is still month-end, but they are offering flex-time, telecommuting, and other incentives. Employees are looking at several total-compensation factors, and companies are becoming more creative to keep their top employees engaged and on their team.
The demand for technology continues to increase within the accounting and finance industry. Businesses are seeking professionals who can utilize and embrace the rapid advances. This includes changes in integrated ERP solutions, OCR systems, Mobile Accounting, and Cloud-based accounting. Companies are paying higher salaries for professionals with these skills as well as advanced training to ensure they stay up to speed.
Hiring for Culture
Companies are becoming more flexible on their list of required skills to ensure a solid fit with the team. Rather than waiting several months for someone who can check every box on their list, they can select a candidate with solid intangible skills who fits their corporate culture. This leaves a way for companies to train on any skills needed and allows the new employee to grow within the organization.
Working with Professional Consultants
Consultants at any level can offer several benefits and often come with a range of experience with industry, skill-set, and technology. They often need less training and can bridge the gap quickly. There are more candidates opting for professional consulting because it provides flexibility, opportunity, and experience.
As Dallas-Fort Worth continues to grow, the demand for accounting and finance talent does too. While low unemployment is great news for candidates, it certainly brings with it challenges for employers. By staying on top of hiring and salary trends, you can retain and grow a strong team.
The contributor for this post is Kelly Maxwell, Practice Area Manager in our Dallas office. To connect with Kelly, click here.