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Market Insight Report | 2024

To date, 2024 has presented a more favorable business climate than 2023, and the outlook for the rest of the year remains positive. Companies in various industries are scaling up their teams, and with this comes the need for quality professional talent to support their business. Regardless of sector, Accounting, HR, Admin and Talent Acquisition personnel are key to sustainable growth.

Market Insight

Companies of all stripes are increasingly partnering with staffing firms to meet their hiring needs in 2024, signaling a steadily improving economy. An analysis of our internal data indicates that total jobs increased by 50% over a 180-day period. Further, we’ve registered an uptick in contract opportunities as a proportion of jobs since 2023. At a high level, the US economy remains strong, with total jobs added exceeding the median forecast (BLS & SIA).

Looking forward, many economists agree that the US is on track for solid growth in 2024. But this trend is likely to contribute to the slowing decline of inflation, meaning delays in cuts to interest rates. This may soften growth for some companies, but the overall trend and direction of the economy should be marked as positive.

Candidate Priorities

A recent survey of our candidate network sheds light on what applicants are looking for in an employer. When asked about their current role, 31% of respondents indicated that the ability to work remotely was the primary motivation for staying with their current employer. Compensation and hybrid schedules were also a understandably strong motivators, with 22% and 13%, respectively.

Interestingly, however, jobseekers indicated that they are more likely to be motivated by competitive compensation rather than hybrid schedules. This suggests that candidates understand that the ability to work remotely is becoming less prevalent, especially for new opportunities.

Pay Transparency

As reflected in our survey results, compensation is a significant driver when it comes to a candidate’s search. For this reason, combined with the goal of correcting pay inequities, many states have adopted pay transparency laws to help empower job seekers.

Additional survey results indicate that 61% find it extremely important when companies post salary ranges for their job openings, while 31% say it’s somewhat important. 8% of respondents indicated they were neutral. This is largely consistent with recent data, where 44% of candidates chose not to apply for a position because the job listing did not include a salary range (Gartner).

Several states have passed new legislation or have expanded their existing pay transparency laws in 2024. This includes Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, Vermont, Washington, DC, and Maryland (Forbes). The specifics, of course, vary by state, and are largely contingent on the number of employees an employer has. But regardless of the details, each of these laws aims to better equip employees with valuable information about salaries, thereby improving pay equity and narrowing persistent gaps in compensation.

Finance and Accounting

Like most sectors and job functions, Finance and Accounting endured a decline in demand in 2023. However, the industry is expected to steadily rebound this year, as Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), forecasts a growth rate of 4%, driven by increased volume and pay rates. As a whole, the Finance and Accounting staffing segment is expected to be worth 9.1 billion by the year’s end.

In-Demand Roles

A survey of our network provides further insight into the Finance and Accounting space. When asked what types of roles and positions teams needed to fill, hiring managers said:

55% of respondents indicated that Financial Planning and Analysis staff was their top priority. Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable both came in at 16%, while 13% indicated that their primary need was Payroll staff. 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence technologies have ballooned over the past several months. This increasing proliferation of tools, however, presents challenges for adoption at scale. Indeed, sorting through the rising tide of technologies is an obstacle in itself to identifying concrete use cases. 

But despite this revolution in tools and the challenges they pose, it is important to remember that artificial intelligence did not suddenly appear in 2023. Predictive analytics, automation technologies, and AI-assisted tools have been with us for years. The various tools and their applications have only increased. Below are some concrete use cases for AI technologies that can assist HR and Accounting teams.

Use Cases for AI: Human Resources

1. Employee Engagement and Retention

Use Case: AI-driven platforms can analyze employee feedback, performance data, and engagement surveys to identify trends and potential issues.

Impact: Helps HR teams proactively address concerns, improve workplace satisfaction, and reduce turnover rates by implementing targeted interventions and personalized engagement strategies.

2. Predictive Analytics for Workforce Planning

Use Case: AI systems can analyze historical data and current trends to forecast future hiring needs, identify skill gaps, and predict employee turnover.

Impact: Enables HR departments to make data-driven decisions for talent acquisition and workforce development, ensuring the organization is prepared for future challenges and growth.

3. Chatbots for Administrative Tasks and Candidate Interaction

Use Case: AI-powered chatbots can handle routine HR and administrative tasks such as answering frequently asked questions, scheduling interviews, and providing onboarding information.

Impact: Frees up HR staff to focus on more strategic tasks, improves response times for employee and candidate inquiries, and enhances the overall efficiency of administrative processes.

Use Cases for AI: Finance and Accounting

1. Assisted Invoice Processing and Accounts Payable

Use Case: AI-powered systems can automatically extract, validate, and process invoice data, matching it with purchase orders and receipts.

Impact: Reduces manual data entry errors, speeds up invoice processing times, and ensures timely payments to vendors, improving overall efficiency and accuracy in accounts payable.

2. Fraud Detection and Prevention

Use Case: AI algorithms can analyze transaction patterns and financial data to detect anomalies and potentially fraudulent activities in real-time.

Impact: Enhances the ability to identify and prevent fraudulent transactions quickly, reducing financial losses and improving security and compliance.

3. Predictive Financial Analytics and Forecasting

Use Case: AI-driven predictive analytics can analyze historical financial data and current market trends to forecast future revenue, expenses, and cash flows.

Impact: Provides more accurate financial projections, helping finance teams make better-informed strategic decisions, optimize budgeting, and improve financial planning.

About Planet Professional

Planet Professional is a national staffing provider for Accounting and Finance, Human Resources, and Administrative positions across industries.

Our mission is to build genuine relationships with both our clients and candidates that go beyond simple transactions. We go to great lengths to faithfully articulate and represent our clients’ needs to help ensure they find the right candidate quickly and efficiently.

Our extensive database of talented individuals makes this possible. Our team of experienced recruiters maintains a strong network of the most qualified, credible, and reliable talent throughout the nation.

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