Nearly Half of Accounting and Finance Employers Say They Have Job Openings But Can't Find Qualified Candidates, Survey Finds
--Competition to hire qualified workers increases with 83 percent of accounting and finance employers planning to hire new employees during 2007--

Chicago, April 19, 2007 -- Accounting and finance employers may not be able to count on their previous hiring practices to recruit qualified talent. Forty-eight percent of these employers say they currently have job openings for which they cannot find a qualified candidate, according to a recent survey. At the same time, more than three-fourths of accounting and finance employers say they plan to hire new employees in 2007. Strong job growth in accounting and finance positions across industries is driving workers to look for better opportunities, and motivating employers to take competitive measures in their recruitment and retention efforts.

Forty-two percent of accounting and finance employers say they plan to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees in 2007 compared to last year. Based on data, the positions in strong demand are staff and senior accountant, financial analyst and controller.

With nearly half (47 percent) citing a shortage of qualified workers as the biggest human capital challenge, accounting and finance employers say they are increasing salaries (82 percent), promotions and career advancement (45 percent) and are more willing to provide flexible work schedules (25 percent) for current employees.

"Accounting and finance is an occupation that has experienced strong levels of job creation in recent years," said Kevin Knapp, chief financial officer at "While currently sees more than 8 million job searches in accounting and finance every month, the competition for top talent is undoubtedly increasing. In order to be a highly sought-after employer, companies need to evaluate their employee experience and how effectively they are conveying that experience in their recruiting efforts.

Nearly one-in-four accounting and finance workers (23 percent) surveyed feels they have been overlooked for a promotion at their current job. Thirty-three percent say they’re unsatisfied with their pay. Forty-six percent say their workload is either heavy or too heavy and 43 percent say their workload is heavier compared to six months ago. In terms of career advancement, 35 percent are dissatisfied with their opportunities at their current position and 33 percent are dissatisfied with the training and learning opportunities.

Knapp recommends the following tips to improve recruitment and retention efforts:

1) Break through the clutter -- Treat your job posting like a candidate treats a resume. Communicate an employee brand that is accomplishment-based, highlighting growth and stability, work culture, career advancement, etc. Include testimonials from current employers and showcase examples of employees who have worked their way to the top.

2) Get specific -- The more definitive you can be in a job posting, the better your chance of attracting qualified candidates. Everyone says competitive salaries and benefits -- define what that means in your organization. Outline what flexible schedules and work/life balance programs entail, specifically address the training/courses available to employees in the first quarter, first year, etc.

3) Check your workplace temperature -- Measure employee satisfaction levels regularly whether it be through informal discussions or organization-wide surveys. If necessary, create action plans and implementation dates with employee input and deliver on what’s promised.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 150 Accounting and Finance employers (employed full-time; not self employed; with at least some involvement in hiring decisions), and 346 Accounting and Finance employees (employed full-time; not self employed; with no involvement in hiring decisions) ages 18 and over within the United States between November 17 and December 11, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

With a pure probability sample of 150 one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 8 percentage points. With a pure probability sample of 346 one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 5 percentage points. Sampling error for data from subsamples is higher and varies. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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