Strategies To Adapt to a Changing Candidate Market

April 20, 2023

A few months ago, hiring managers in the Denver, Colorado, job market braced themselves for what they assumed would be a big “about face” in accounting and finance. As anyone in the industry knows, accountants are in demand, especially highly qualified and talented accounting professionals. Candidates have been in the driver’s seat, able to demand higher salaries, great benefits and flexible work schedules.

As signs of a slowing economy became stronger throughout 2022, many figured the tables would turn sooner than later and balance would start to return to the hiring market. Has that happened? Well, that’s not what we’re seeing at TGRP Solutions. Here in Denver, there are still not enough qualified accounting and finance candidates to fill open roles. That’s the bottom line. (Check out our blog post on the 2023 Denver market outlook.)

A challenging hiring market…still

One year ago, many TGRP clients were desperate to hire accounting and finance professionals. Like many industries, accounting confronted a pandemic-induced exodus from the industry that made things challenging. Early retirements combined with a years-long declining number of college graduates with accounting degrees created a very difficult situation for companies that needed to hire.

Today, we’re seeing a slightly less sizzling hot job market for accounting and finance professionals in Denver, but one thing hasn’t changed: it’s still challenging to fill open positions. Candidates still have plenty of options when they start a job search. (Here’s our blog post on 2023 hiring trends.)

What should companies do to adapt to the changing candidate market?

When clients engage TGRP Solutions for help filling an accounting role, one of the first questions we get is whether we think they can fill the position based on the landscape today.

Our answer: that depends on how willing they are to adapt. Generally, we see the most success with hiring among companies that do these things:

  • They have adjusted their hiring processes based on lessons learned in the last few years. Companies that have lost out on candidates in the past need to make changes to make their hiring process more efficient and compete for the best candidates. It will be hard to hire in today’s competitive market if a company has a clunky and slow hiring process that involves too many people (even with low-level hires) and results in delayed feedback to candidates after the first round of interviews. Companies that are nimble, flexible and aggressive with their interview and hiring see the most success at getting the candidates they want.
  • They understand that candidate expectations remain high. During the height of COVID, candidates were demanding higher salaries and flexible work arrangements. Many companies assumed that this would soften by now, but at TGRP Solutions, we’re seeing that compensation expectations are holding steady with the cost of living and everything else in the Denver area not budging much either. Companies that are able to get creative on compensation will be able to compete for talent in this market.
  • They are forward-thinking about how to offer upward mobility for strong candidates. If a company wants to attract the best candidates, they must be able to offer more than just an alluring compensation package. It’s important to be able to offer opportunities for growth like educational benefits, a track to future promotions, the opportunity to do interesting and meaningful work, or some combination.
  • They have made a compelling case for returning to the office. Many companies in Denver that adapted to remote work during the height of the pandemic are now expecting employees to work in the office at least part of the time. Because this is more the norm for accounting/finance roles, candidates are accepting of it…but they still want to know why it is important. TGRP clients that have been successful with hiring in the last six months do a great job building their company culture and cultivating relationships among staff. People love flexibility, but they also appreciate the opportunity to make great connections.

It helps to engage a recruiting partner

In the Denver market, our sense is that there continues to be a shortage of accounting and finance talent. Companies are hiring full-time accounting professionals and engaging TGRP Solutions to help them find the best possible senior accountants, controllers, CFOS, accounting managers and other positions.

If your company is struggling to hire accountants or finance professionals and you need help, call TGRP Solutions. Our recruiting team will help you make sure your hiring process is conducive to attracting the best candidates, and we’ll work with you to find talented people who fit your culture. Call us today!

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