PROFESSIONAL SERVICES RECRUITMENT - The best appointment you'll make

Market Update

 25th Jun 2024

July is almost upon us and when it comes to recruitment landscapes, it arrives with a bit of a sense of relief, some excitement and unhelpfully with no clearer idea of what lies ahead in H2!

With the summer holiday season set to begin, we expect to see a slow-down in recruitment activity but beyond this intermission turbulence remains. In 2 weeks there will be a new UK government, questions remain on interest rates, elections in the US and France, and the ongoing effects of a cost of living crisis and conflict in Ukraine and Gaza all feeding into the psyches of decision makers. Recruitment markets are sensitive souls and simply crave stability.

The conclusion of the Euros, the Olympics, Wimbledon, The Open and Tour de France will provide some welcome distraction for many. For Scotland, Euros 2024 was just not to be and like our national team recruitment within the accountancy and finance space has had some hard yards in H1 2024.

Thankfully though, half year is here and I am pleased to report that W&A have exceeded our own expectations - achieving the financial goals we set for the period while continuing our drive to expand our reach and to diversify our offering within our sector.

So, what have we noticed I hear you say?

The interim market remains challenging in terms of the availability of roles and of candidates in the £40k-£75k bandings. Conversely, this means there are some very good value temporary resources available at more senior levels where demand and supply are a bit more evenly balanced.

The diversity of roles and sectors we have recruited for continues to expand, with Financial Services recruitment currently reduced significantly, we are proud to have made successful appointments into an incredibly diverse range of industries including technology, Infrastructure, renewables, charity, property, retail, manufacturing, engineering, private equity, education and professional services.

Candidates continue to place a huge emphasis on aspects like organisational culture, purpose, remuneration and working patterns when moving roles and we have noticed that employers are moving more firmly to more official hybrid working patterns. Candidates and Employers continue to work towards an equilibrium but it is not quite there yet.

W&A have identified a growing need and desire from our candidates and clients to work in the not for profit sector and are actively targeting opportunities in this sector in line with our purpose.

Newly qualified accountants continue to be in short supply and have moved less frequently in H1 when compared to previous years. Specialist hires in areas like tax or technical accounting are often challenging. Nothing is impossible of course but flexibility can make a big difference in accessing the best and most diverse talent.

Hopefully, this year will be a proverbial game of 2 halves. A more buoyant H2 would be very welcome for everyone. There are talented individuals in the market keen to move, firms that are stretched thin in terms of resource. Perhaps with some more stability and some milder headwinds, we will see some more corporate activity and a platform from which plans can be made, investments undertaken and resourcing can play a pivotal part in all this

Guy Gracie, Managing Director


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