20 August 2015
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
Hiring is picking up quickly in the accounting sector, with both public accounting firms and firms in the private industry showing exponentially increasing needs for talent across the board. According to our recruiters, the marketplace is as candidate-driven as ever—if not more—and employers are having a difficult time picking up enough talent to fill their open positions. Currently most in-demand in the public accounting field are tax and audit professionals at the senior and manager levels, to ensure firms maintain internal controls and financial reporting standards. In the private industry, there are needs across the board, especially for professionals with experience in SEC reporting, hedge fund and private equity firms, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), and Business Development Companies (BDCs). In general, most needs are for candidates within the 2 to 10 year experience ranges. The cause of this hiring gap is partly a result of fewer people choosing accounting as a profession and partly due to the improving economy. “Our smaller clients are experiencing a growth in business, which is always exciting, but they have been finding it difficult to find talent,” says Michael Cooke, Executive Vice President of The Execu|Search Group. “They have more work and, therefore, more opportunities across specialties—yet there just aren’t enough candidates to fill the positions.” Furthermore, the improving economy means there is more room for movement as a result of promotions and better bonuses. Those who are promoted leave an open position in their wake that employers are finding difficult to fill, while those who are looking to move elsewhere are collecting their bonuses and leaving. According to Michael, all these decisions are hefty factors in turnover rate and new opportunities. “Old hiring trends, such as hiring slow-downs in the summer, still sometimes paralyze professionals from rejoining the market—but they do not apply to today’s changing marketplace,” says Michael. “Hiring isn’t slowing down, and there is no ‘bad’ time to look. Our clients are continuously hiring.” In fact, this year marked the first time our Accounting/Finance division placed a tax professional in a public accounting firm just two days after the end of busy season. Most hiring in public accounting is typically done in Q3 and Q4, but an understaffing issue in the public sector is driving hiring throughout the year. Many of these firms are also hiring immediately after busy season to help alleviate the strain on current employees after enduring a grueling, short-staffed busy season, showing the industry’s continued emphasis on improving work-life balance. For those thinking of making a move, this is the time to do it. Job seekers can take advantage of the bustling market to search for their new opportunity, and since the hiring gap means many candidates are in demand, they could find themselves with multiple offers. For those in public accounting, this is an excellent opportunity to get settled into a new firm and learn the ropes before busy season. For more information on how to handle multiple job offers in your search, take a look at our article “How To Juggle Multiple Job Offers.” Ready to start your job search? Here’s how to position yourself for success.
20 August 2015
If you’ve ever read about companies featured on “Best Places to Work” lists, most of these companies share a common strength in promoting a healthy work environment for its employees. But what one employee might find to be a ‘great’ work environment or an effective management style, may cause another undue stress or even a feeling that their manager is hindering their work. To ensure you know what you can expect in an employer, it’s important to be aware of how different management styles can impact your performance at work. Whether you’re interviewing for a new role, or reconsidering your current position, understanding the differences between various management styles will enable you to thrive in a variety of work environments: Style 1: Laissez-faire management Managers that practice a laissez-faire management style have a “hands-off” approach and allow employees to manage their own work with little to no supervision. While this management style might work for someone that prefers working by themselves, for example, for those that rely on regular feedback, this can create a difficult working relationship between you and your manager, thus affecting your overall performance. Ideally, one of the most effective ways to co-exist with a manager that practices a laissez-faire management style is to take initiative to build a rapport with your manager. For example, requesting weekly meetings with your manager to review your performance on particular projects can help to highlight areas for improvement, while also creating opportunities to establish dialogue. This proactive approach may help both you and your manager figure out better ways to work together. Style 2: Autocratic management An autocratic management style is very dictatorial in practice, in which a manager micromanages their employees’ responsibilities while setting high performance measures (i.e., strict deadlines, long hours, etc.). While this can make for a very stressful work environment for some, there are a number of methods you can employ to build trust and prevent their need to micromanage. Building trust through an open line of communication with your manager is a great way to create an effective working relationship under an autocratic management style. How might trust and communication make a difference? If you can establish trust with your manager through honest communication while producing notable results, this may encourage them to trust your opinion and give you more space to do your job. For example, regularly beating deadlines, repeatedly going above and beyond in your duties, or taking on tasks that others don’t want on their plate, are a few ways to garner trust with an autocratic management style. Constant updates to prevent surprises and regular communication may allow a manager to realize micromanaging your everyday tasks is unnecessary and it may create a better working relationship without it. Style 3: Democratic management If there were one type of management that is seen as the ‘middle ground’ between laissez-faire and autocratic management, it would have to be a democratic management style. A democratic management style tends to foster collaboration amongst employees, encourage ideas and suggestions, and practice a “hands-on” approach. Although this might sound like an ideal situation for most professionals, it’s important to remember that not everyone will thrive in this type of environment. The good news is that whether you are an introvert or extrovert, volunteering to take on more responsibility or helping other team members are great ways to play a bigger role in a democratic work environment. In addition, speaking up during meetings and using constructive criticism from your peers to improve your weaknesses are small things you can do to be viewed as a more reliable resource to your manager.