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Trends in the St. Louis Accounting Market

Competition for Jobs is High

The most notable trend in the accounting market is that there is a shortage of qualified candidates, especially ones who have more than 3 years of experience. In St. Louis, the unemployment rate (3.3%) is lower than the national level. The number is even lower for the accounting field, which has an unemployment rate somewhere between 1.5-2%. This means finding talent to fill open positions will take strategic planning.

Challenging Positions to Fill

Recruiting for high level positions such as CFOs and controllers is actually easier than most other positions. The shortage of candidates to jobs is not as high at the higher levels. This means companies have more options and less competition at this level. In contrast, recruiting for public accounting firms is challenging. Most people who quit a job at a public accounting firm leave to go into corporate accounting. Therefore, they are not looking to work for a different public accounting firm. This makes it difficult to find candidates that have 2-5 years of experience. Hiring accounting professionals in senior-level positions will also be hard. Financial analysts, internal auditors, and tax accountants will all have multiple jobs to choose from. There simply are not enough candidates with the appropriate skill set and experience level needed to fill the large volume of these roles.

Think about Your Recruitment Strategy

Given the shortage, hiring talent requires creativity. You need to have a recruitment and hiring strategy that will give you an edge against your competitors. An essential part of any strategy should involve the use of an accounting recruitment firm. They have a valuable network that enables them to identify top candidates quickly. Recruiters know who the big names in accounting are, and they will reach out to candidates that already have employment. With the unemployment as low as it is, most of the experienced candidates have jobs. Many hiring managers hesitate to reach out to these passive candidates because they worry that taking such an assertive measure could prompt competitors to intervene and try to poach their talent. Using a recruiter mitigates some of this risk.

Working with a Recruiter

Some companies do reach out to candidates directly on LinkedIn, but these candidates often hesitate to respond. Candidates often feel more comfortable responding back to third party recruiters. They have a built-in neutrality that makes them less intimidating. They make excellent mediators in the hiring process and candidates open up to them about what they want in a role and what salary they will consider. This speeds up the process, allowing client companies to secure top talent in a timely manner.

How can we help you?

Are you ready for a new opportunity in finance, audit, tax, or accounting?

At Accounting Career Consultants, we provide direct-hire, consulting, and temporary placement services. We have a high success rate in placing great talent. Contact us to talk about how we can help you find your next great opportunity.

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