After several years of job cuts and under-investment in training, the UK accountancy recruitment market is experiencing a sharp revival thanks to a flood of new regulation and a shortage of qualified accountants.
Steve Carter, UK managing director of Robert Half International, told Accountancy Age: ‘Today’s market is very thirsty for quality candidates. They are much more optimistic about the market. I am optimistic about the recruitment market in the coming year as a result of this candidate confidence. As good candidates change jobs, this starts a chain reaction and creates mobility in the market.’
The upturn in the recruitment market is also good news for recruiters’ bottom lines.
Linda Harlow, managing director of Nicholas Andrews & Temps Financial, said: ‘We increased our profit on the previous year and we plan to continue to grow. We’re increasing our branch network from 15 offices to 18 as demand grows from larger clients.’
Michael Page reported its fourth quarter results this month, announcing a 23.9% rise in turnover to £56.6m, compared to Q4 2003.
The dearth of qualified accountants means jobseekers can name their price as companies and firms compete for the best talent in the rush to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and IFRS. ‘Jobseekers are now more educated and know what they’re worth,’ added Harlow.
Research for Accountancy Age revealed in October last year that pay had risen 5.3% over the previous six months. Experts believed pay levels would continue to rise.
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