The accounting and financial employment market looks promising for 2019 as companies continue to benefit from a healthy economy. The favorable hiring trends will likely carry over into 2020. At the same time, financial organizations face a talent shortage in an increasingly competitive employment market. The following employment trends will greatly influence the accounting and finance industry in the next couple of years.

Demographics are Changing

Both millennials and generation Z are becoming more prevalent—and this is changing the financial services industry dramatically. Compared to older generations, younger generations are much more likely to rent than own their homes. Many don’t own cars either. This affects employment because more job seekers are looking for remote job opportunities. They’re also less rooted, which means they’re more likely to job hop. These generations are also more diverse, both in terms of gender and ethnicity. These factors also affect customers as well. Customers are more diverse and less likely to buy homes and automobiles. Strategic companies are hiring for diversity. They look for candidates that are bilingual because this will allow the companies to provide services to a broader, more diverse customer-base.

Competition for Entry-Level Positions

Competition for entry-level positions is high, especially for positions that require tech skills. Many young professionals with tech skills are going into the fintech and insurtech fields, which has contributed a technical skills gap in the financial services industry. Adding to the overall skills gap is that many young professionals struggle with soft skills, such as communication. Companies that have well-crafted mentorship and training programs will have a competitive edge.

Increasingly Hard to Attract the Right Candidates

In the past, mathematical and accounting skills were the most important skills needed to perform well in the financial services industry. Because we live in a tech-driven world, this is no longer the case. Companies need people with excellent accounting skills, but they also need a background in technology. Companies also want candidates who have excellent social skills, as many young professionals struggle with communication now. These developments make it hard for managers to find candidates who have the right combination of skills. Companies should look for candidates who can learn fast and adapt to changes in technology.

As long as the economy remains healthy, the financial services and accounting industry will experience high performance. While this is good news for the employment market, companies need to anticipate continued high competition levels for hiring. Companies need a strategy to attract job seekers who have diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and experiences.

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