The Coronavirus employment market: Finance positions in demand

By Robert Half on 21 July 2020

The employment market has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, with numerous finance professionals made redundant over recent weeks.

The current climate isn’t all doom and gloom, however. Even as many companies re-evaluate and adjust their budgets, pivot their business/staffing strategies and revise revenue forecasts, it will probably come as no surprise that recruiting for finance roles remains relatively buoyant, given many finance professionals are regarded as key to helping businesses recover during uncertain times.

Here’s an overview of some of the most in-demand finance positions in the current employment market.

Accounts Payable Officer

Coronavirus has put increased pressure on finance departments with all companies needing to continue to pay their staff, suppliers, and get paid too. On top of this, securing finances and managing outgoings are taking centre stage in the current environment because of the importance of maintaining cashflow to business continuity and survival.

Consequently, demand for finance professionals with accounts payable and receivable experience will rise as they are increasingly emphasised as critical business functions.

(Assistant) Accountant

It’s always been crucial for companies to manage financial records accurately, but transparency over company finances has entered the spotlight recently as leaders must be able to quickly understand the health of their businesses. Talented assistant accountants who can ensure excellent financial record keeping and reporting within companies will be highly sought-after in the coming months as companies reshape and refine their strategies against financial goals.

Financial Accountant

Companies need to have a firm grasp of their current and projected financial position given the potential (and perhaps unpredictable) economic impacts of COVID-19 over the coming weeks and months. To equip decision-makers with the tools to make accurate and responsive strategic decisions, onboarding versatile financial accountants – who are also skilled in risk and compliance with an advisory capacity – will be key to maintaining essential cashflow statements, monthly profit and loss statements, balance sheet reports, and controlling expenditures.

Collections Officer

Turbulent economic forces, dwindling business confidence and changing priorities could have an impact on the speed at which invoices are processed within companies. At the same time, in the current environment, it has never been more important for companies to ensure that receivables are paid in the shortest amount of time after they fall due to ensure cashflow and business continuity is maintained. This in turn explains why collection officers are currently in demand.

Financial Analyst

With market forces potentially entering an unpredictable and changeable phase, companies that can obtain and leverage real-time, accurate business forecasts based on data will be able to make quick and responsive strategic decisions. With this objective in mind, hiring talented financial analysts will be crucial to helping business leaders interpret the implications of available data so they can model current and future scenarios in the race to stay competitive.

Payroll Officer

Like the past couple of months, there is likely to be continued high levels of activity and increasing workloads within many company payroll departments. Aside from managing ‘business as usual’ tasks such as paying permanent, temporary and contract staff, additional payroll officers may be required to help manage redundancies, changes to salary and the interplay with government assistance, and even set up new staff members as roles change.

Compliance Manager

While the impacts of Coronavirus are unprecedented, company leaders, moving forward, will be much more aware of the potential for unforeseeable events to significantly impact their business. So, it’s probably fair to say that many companies will now have a heightened understanding of the importance of managing risk and compliance.

Representing a key function in the current environment, compliance managers with the skills to ensure organisations are consistently compliant with changing regulations and who can help business leaders plan, implement, and oversee risk-related programs will be in high demand.

Credit Risk Officer/Analyst

Like a ripple effect, the future economic impacts of Coronavirus are still largely unknown and could be felt across a wide variety of industries. Unsurprisingly, with the primary responsibility of protecting financial institutions from credit losses, credit risk officers will likely be in demand in the coming months because of their ability to analyse and evaluate data to determine exposure to new risks as they play out.

Weeks of restrictions have affected jobs and hiring practices in many businesses, but there’s no doubt that many finance roles are likely to be considered critical to the next phase of recovery. Specifically, talented finance professionals with risk, compliance, and strategic forecasting capabilities will be instrumental to helping companies and their workforces find a way back to ‘business as usual’.

Whether you’re looking to hire on-site or remote staff, we got you covered. Our highly skilled, pre-vetted professionals are capable of working remotely from anywhere. 

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