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Trending in Finance and Administrative: A Glimpse into the Boston Job Market

We sat down with David Janowsky of WinterWyman’s Finance & Administrative division (now Planet Professional), to get a feel for the talent pool and what’s trending in the Finance & Administrative hiring market. David shares his observations, experiences and recommendations, and what he is anticipating in the coming months.

What is the overall health of Finance and Administration in New England?

There is a ton of hiring taking place in the Finance, Accounting and Administrative areas at all levels – there really is not a need we are not hearing about. Top candidates are on and off the market very quickly, and they have their choice of roles.

What skill sets are in the highest demand?

I’m not sure if there is anything not in high demand! Hiring is up across the board – Senior Accountants, Senior Financial Analysts, Staff Accountants, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Controllers – we are actively staffing those positions every week. Executive Assistants in the mid to senior levels are also a hot commodity.

What trends are you seeing regarding salaries?

Salaries are consistently creeping up. To be competitive in talent acquisition, companies are increasing salaries to attract candidates. With the Pay Equity Laws that went into effect last year, companies need to be mindful of their current employee pool to be sure there is equity between current and new employees.

What are companies doing to open the talent market?

We are doing both temp and temp-to-hire placements. With temp and temp-to-hire, companies are attempting to target the profile of the ideal perm candidate for the roles. However, the unemployment rate is so low, top candidates are not available for these roles and won’t leave a full-time job for a temp position. Given that, companies need to be more flexible, such as considering candidates who are not currently employed.

Another way to open the market is to look at skills, experience and potential. After we do the initial vetting, we encourage our clients to look closely at raw skills and experience. For example, has the candidate used a desired software or can they grow into the position? They may not be perfect on paper, but given the opportunity, these candidates can be an ideal fit and perform well. While they may need the investment of time to get them going, we are seeing it’s an investment that is paying off.

What are candidates looking for?

Candidates are very focused on compensation (salary and bonuses). They are also concerned with benefits – what they are getting, how the plan is structured and what’s available. After that, they want a growth industry, and a position that is a step up or a lateral step with growth potential – that is not really new. What is new, though, is the increasing demand for work from home and flexible hours. Companies who can bend in these areas are winning more of the best candidates.

How are your clients getting candidates to say yes to their offers?

Clients that are moving candidates through the process quickly and efficiently are at a clear advantage and are getting more of their candidates of choice to say “yes.” When the hiring process is dragged out, candidates will have more questions and concerns. They’ll also have more opportunities from other employers and will tend to lose interest in your company.

Candidates also want transparency. The interview process is the first touch they have with a hiring company. This translates into a feeling about that company as a potential employer. Candidates want feedback, consolidated interview rounds, responses to their communication and to know where they stand in the process. Companies who think about the experience their candidates are having during the interview process tend to fill their roles more quickly.

How is social media affecting recruiting in your industry?

Having a strong social presence is becoming more important to candidates not only for looking at reviews on sites like Glassdoor, but for understanding the company’s culture. The brand’s reputation is important for many job seekers, as is their commitment to the community, the way they do business and more. Social media is their way to dig deeper into their prospective employers.

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