Finance and accounting
2013 was a very positive year for hiring in the Irish financial services market. Demand was particularly strong within retail banking, insurance and asset management. Banks that had restructured and reduced headcounts in 2011 and 2012 showed increases in hiring activity as they replace contractors with permanent staff, created new teams, up-skilled and increased technical strength. In the asset management/private equity world, demand for candidates with experience within real estate and renewable energy in particular was noted.
The principal areas of requirement for qualified accountants have included regulatory reporting, financial control and balance sheet reporting. Hiring within finance business partnering, particularly with a cost focus has also been evident. However where headcount is tight, priority is generally given to more technical roles like regulatory reporting and capital reporting.
Outside of these areas, employer requirements have been especially focused on securing niche skill sets and knowledge in specific pockets such as life insurance, real estate and project accounting. Demand for multiple languages, specific systems skills (in particular Oracle, SAP, SQL and Excel) and advanced financial modelling capabilities have also been observed. As expected, recruitment activity has been primarily focused on the newly-qualified to mid-manager levels.
While the market has continued to recover, instances of the strongest candidates receiving multiple offers have become more common. However it is primarily pertinent to only the very top candidates possessing experience within the niche areas of demand mentioned above. Such candidates demonstrate a strong track record of outstanding achievement in addition to excellent interpersonal and commercial value-adding skills.
Salary inflation has remained very modest and we anticipate this to continue into 2014. Candidates with niche skill sets tend to command a greater increase than the norm. Outside of that, many individuals who have remained employed by bailed-out retail banks since before 2008 have not seen salary increases in a number of years. Getting their pay back up to market rate upon joining a new employer has entailed a significant increase in base pay for some. Benefits packages vary between companies but pension, health cover, life insurance and professional fees remain standard. Bonuses remain discretionary and dependent on individual organisation and employee performances.
We anticipate continued strong growth within the Irish financial services market in 2014.
Contact John Stewart for further information.
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