Finance and accounting firms are finding it hard to recruit and retain staff, despite a slowdown in the broader labour market, a new survey has found.
Research by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half found that over three-quarters of the 300 chief financial officers and finance directors surveyed are struggling to find skilled workers.
"Even in the current market, employers are still struggling to find the right people, particularly in roles such as finance and accounting," Robert Half director Kevin Jarvis said, releasing the survey.
Not only is there a shortage of technical skills, there are also fewer candidates with the right mix of leadership and communication skills.
The survey found finance workers were the hardest to recruit (31 per cent), followed by accountants (19 per cent), auditors (17 per cent) and those involved in compliance (11 per cent).
At the same time, 72 per cent of employers are concerned about losing their best workers to other job opportunities over the next year, which would result in lost skills and organisational knowledge.
"While salary can be an important retention tool, the uncertainty in the current economy has meant that employers are being more cautious when considering financial rewards," Mr Jarvis said.
"Fortunately, many employees are looking beyond just pay rises and more to additional benefits, such as professional development, flexible working and reward programs."
Mr Jarvis also noted that it takes around six weeks to fill a junior position in a finance or accounting role, and seven weeks for senior management.
"Although selecting the best candidate is important, a prolonged hiring process, where there are many layers of approval, could result in companies losing top contenders to other job opportunities," Mr Jarvis said.