What factors are driving finance and accounting recruitment right now?

The Robert Half Finance & Accounting Salary Guide sheds light on trending positions and CFO sentiments in the finance and accounting this year.

According to the majority of CFOs surveyed, the future looks bright and recruitment will be characterised by project development, business growth and product expansion in the coming year. In Australia, CFO hiring intentions are highest in the non-mining states of Victoria and New South Wales, with two thirds of business leaders planning to grow their teams in the coming 12 months. In Queensland and Western Australia hiring intentions are slightly lower at 42% and 44% respectively.

More than half (56 per cent) of CFOs in NSW are very confident about national economic growth and that respondents in other states and in New Zealand are somewhat confident about future prospects. This confidence was echoed on a business level, with more than a third of Australia's and New Zealand’s CFOs (40 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively) claiming to be very confident in their prospects for growth and expansion.

Top five recruitment factors in finance and accounting industries:


68%     New projects

55%     Business growth

48%     New market penetration

40%     Product or service expansion

34%     International business growth or expansion

New Zealand

66%     New projects

53%     Product or service expansion

34%     New market penetration

31%     Domestic business growth or expansion

31%     Financial systems upgrades

Recruitment challenges in finance and accounting

The biggest challenge facing recruitment in the finance and accounting industry in 2015 is shortage of suitable applicants. When surveyed, 94 per cent of Australian businesses and 75 per cent in New Zealand indicated they struggled to find people with the necessary proficiencies.

A lack of suitable candidates is also driving concerns about retaining existing employees; 89 per cent of CFOs in Australia and 79 per cent in New Zealand are worried about losing their top performers. In an effort to boost retention, two thirds (67 per cent) of Australian organisations and more than half (55 per cent) of New Zealand's CFOs have plans to raise finance and accounting salaries in 2015 and the majority of HR directors are more willing to negotiate salaries than in previous years.

Accounting and finance jobs: A buyer’s market for skilled candidates

With the focus firmly on new projects as well as business growth and expansion, demand for candidates with business and financial analysis, accounting and assistant accounting skills is particularly high.

This trend, combined with concerns about employee retention and a potential skills gap, indicate that employees will have the opportunity to dictate the terms when it comes to recruitment over the next 12 months.

The Robert Half Salary Guide provides comprehensive analysis of current and future hiring trends including salary benchmarks. For the full report, download our Salary Guide.

Download our Salary Guide today

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