Accountancy, Commerce & Industry Report, March 2021

As we approach Spring and imminent loosening of lockdown restrictions, how busy is the accountancy jobs sector?

To answer this question, we asked the Harvey John Finance and Accountancy team for their March 2021 market reports…

Instructions over the past quarter in the Senior Finance market have remained relatively stable based on previous years. We have seen a mix of newly created roles (due to business growth and optimism) and replacement opportunities.

It is never an easy area of the market to predict but we’re certainly hearing more positive feedback than negative.

The consensus among the Harvey John Commerce & Industry team is that there are encouraging signs across the board…

The State of the Market

Associate Director Georgina Trudgill reports: “The current market seems healthy and very different to the last lockdown. Clients and candidates are sharing the view that it is ‘business as usual’ – aside from the fact that far more people are working remotely.

“Looking at individual sectors, I’d pick out Financial Services as being particularly busy. I’ve seen two major local players go through big recruitment drives over the last six months, and the good news is that they are mostly growth roles rather than replacements. Many of the new contracts are for 6 or 12 months, but it is still encouraging.”

The positivity is shared by Principal Consultant, Georgina Hayes, who says: “The market in Commerce & Industry is certainly starting to show signs of recovery as we move further into 2021.”

“The market feels as though it is in a more positive place than during the first lockdown and hopefully this trend will continue as we move into the second quarter of the year.

“There has definitely been an increase in the number of jobs being advertised and the general consensus from clients is that they will be moving forward with recruitment plans.”

Which candidates are in demand?

With regards to candidates, Principal Consultant Callum McKenna comments: “There appears to be more emphasis on candidates that are versatile and able to assist in other areas of the business where required. Candidates that are happy to take on other areas of responsibility, and those with a wide array of skills, have been most in demand.

“Those who can communicate well with stakeholders, as well as challenging and influencing business decisions, are as important now as they ever have been.”

Taking advantage of the recruitment recovery

I have shared a number of these points previously but these are worth revisiting…

  • In this market, or in any market, leave nothing to chance when it comes to interview preparation. Review and recap on your career to date being able to highlight key initiatives and achievements from your most recent roles, research the company and review the profiles of who you’re meeting with.
  • Keep in touch with your recruitment contacts and don’t just rely on job boards to hear about opportunities as not all jobs are advertised.
  • We’re all experienced now when it comes to video calls but should you prepare differently for a video interview? There are certainly some key areas which you should think about when the interviewer is making those all important first impressions. And no, don’t wave at the end!
  • There’s plenty of advice when it comes to how best to present your profile on LinkedIn, there are really no excuses these days for this not to be on point.
  • We’re true believers in promoting transferable skills when it comes to presenting a candidate shortlist to clients but if the job brief, for example depicts a specific industry experience being essential then think again before making an application. Save your energy, both professionally and emotionally, for the ones you have a good chance of success with to avoid application fatigue.

Search our latest accountancy jobs here.

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