H1 2023 has seen many vacancies within the Professional Services/Corporate Services space; (PS/CSPs) the market has remained quite buoyant during the first few months of the year. Corporate Service Providers are constantly seeking new staff notably from the Newly Qualified Accountant level up to Senior Finance Manager level. Professional Services firms have been struggling to retain their staff from Audit Senior level right up to Director level due to increased demands from companies looking to hire from the larger accounting firms in Ireland.
There has been an increase this year in the number of strong accountants coming to Ireland from non-EU countries requiring sponsorship. Corporate service providers have certainly benefitted from the accounting knowledge of these individuals more than most other companies thanks to their willingness to provide sponsorship. CSPs provide an excellent opportunity for candidates coming from the Big 4/Top 10 firms abroad to gain local experience as well as gaining vital accounts preparation experience. Unfortunately, the housing crisis has been a major hindrance to many seeking to relocate to Dublin, not only from abroad but from other areas of Ireland as well. Professional Services firms are willing to offer temporary accommodation to strong candidates considering relocation in order to make their transition smoother.
As has been the case for some time, Professional Services firms have been struggling to retain talent. The prospect of transitioning from practice to industry is very appealing to many of those working in Audit/Assurance. Candidates coming from these companies are very attractive to organizations in the Corporate Services space. Many CSPs offer attractive benefits not typically seen at more junior levels in practice such as a bonus, health insurance, and pension contribution. This is very enticing to accountants who have just qualified. Because of this along with the fact that teams within these firms are underpaid and understaffed, Professional Services firms are hemorrhaging staff from Audit Senior to Director level.
There is no question that the market has been candidate-driven for some time now. Candidates have become increasingly concerned about the level of flexibility on offer with prospective jobs. One of the most asked questions after sharing a job description with candidates is the working model on offer by a particular company. Candidates strongly value flexibility around the working model and companies have adapted their policies to attract more talent; with most organisations offering a 2/3 day split; with two days in the office and three from home generally.
Candidates working in Dublin typically demand higher salaries than those in more remote regions in Ireland due to the rising cost of living, etc. Newly Qualified Accountants undertaking a role in Dublin can expect salaries in the region of €55-60k whereas those working outside of the capital typically demand salaries closer to €50-55k. Having said this, the divide between offices has been lessened considerably in recent times with some companies offering candidates the option of attending a different office to their teammates to counter-act longer commutes.
As we progress through the year, we predict the CSP/PS markets following the same trend they have for the first half of the year. Many CSPs are growing very quickly and will require more staff as there is plenty of work in the structured finance and leasing spaces for these firms. PS firms will find it increasingly challenging to compete with the attractive packages on offer with industry firms and will continue to lose staff to these companies.
If you would like to discuss the above or how we can support your hiring processes in the current market, please get in touch with Consultant Patrick Kearney at firstname.lastname@example.org