The need for Accountants is peaking. Again. Or rather: still. In fact, since 2020, the role of an Accountant has been recognised as a bottleneck profession. At the beginning of the corona pandemic, we saw a high demand for accountants, but the shortage of these financial experts continues to grow. In 2021, the number of vacancies in accounting rose by no less than 22% compared to last year.
We asked Kevin Blockx, senior manager at staffing specialist Walters People and specialist in recruiting temporary and permanent Accountants, to take a closer look at the acute shortage of Accountants and what impact this will have on their salaries in 2022.
Is it mainly experienced Accountants who are in demand, or are graduates as well?
Kevin: "I can be very clear on this: the labour market needs Accountants at all levels of experience, from Junior Accountant to Accounting Manager. Professionals with one to two years of work experience are particularly in demand, as are Senior Accountants. Last year, when we were in the middle of the corona pandemic, the pressure on the finance teams was huge and it was all hands on deck. This year, we have seen a consistent high demand for Accountants, with a peak in September and November.
Nowadays, graduates hardly have to put any effort in finding their first job. Students in accounting or economics often found a job even before they are graduated."Fortunately, because there is such a shortage in the labour market, more and more employers see the potential in hiring graduates.
Are Accountants themselves also open to new opportunities?
"This year we saw a slight improvement compared to last year," says Kevin. "Most Accountants remained loyal to their organisation in 2020, but when the corona pandemic subsided earlier this year, we noticed more and more candidates were again open to change jobs. Working from home, flexible working hours, no more commuting: it got people thinking.
Although Accountants are again open to new opportunities, they will not accept just any job offer. Today, they are very selective: a good work-life balance is important, and they are keen to know what potential employers can commit themselves to. The fact that Accountants are in such high demand on the labour market puts them in a luxurious position, so they also look very consciously at the company culture and the sustainability of an organisation, for example, but also at the colleagues working in the team where they end up."
What role does salary play in their choice?
"Accountants are swamped with vacancies, and so they set the bar pretty high for taking the plunge into a new job. They are not in a hurry and wait until the perfect vacancy crosses their path. The salary offer then often plays the decisive role in their decision. The most sought-after professionals even receive multiple job offers at the same time and accept the one with the best conditions and the highest salary. Accountants who start a temporary assignment are not afraid to quit early when a better opportunity presents itself," says Kevin.
Does this mean that salaries for Accountants will increase in 2022?
"I believe it will," says Kevin. "Organisations in urgent need of extra support in the finance team really need to offer a competitive salary package and interesting terms of employment if they want to attract ánd retain the right talent. The market is competitive, and we expect salaries for AP and AR Accountants, GL Accountants and Senior Accountants and Teamleaders to rise slightly in 2022."