Job hopping accountants and auditors warned

Shrinking talent pool

By CareerOne staffers

Despite a shrinking pool of accounting talent, employers are rejecting candidates they regard as “job hoppers”.

According to the Lloyd Morgan Skills Index released this month the market for skilled accountants and auditors has moved from “a significant oversupply” of talent to a balance between demand and supply.

National Manager for Lloyd Morgan, Will Gordon, says employers have a preference for candidates with at least three years experience in a single job despite an increase in demand for accounting and auditing professionals such as Credit Controllers, Payroll staff and those who were recently qualified.

“Employers are less likely to hire a candidate with unstable employment histories and are now demanding higher levels of commitment and job stability. This is particularly true for those in the 25-35 year age group,” Gordon says.

“Pre-GFC candidates were extremely confident of their ability to secure higher paying roles with a belief that the shortage in supply would continue to grow and they were invaluable.

“Now that there is more of an equilibrium between supply and demand, these candidates are increasingly aware that jumping from role to role could reduce their attraction to employers in the future,” he says.

In the September 2010 quarter, the Index for Accountants is sitting at 99.2, while the Index for Auditors is slightly lower at 99.0.

As economic conditions continue to improve, an increase in both supply and demand is expected to carry on into 2011. The labour market for Accountants and Auditors is expected to remain balanced with the Index for the following September quarter forecast to be 99.9 and 99.6, respectively.

According to Mr Gordon, while a small oversupply is expected for the next five years, this is based on the status quo in both the private and government sectors and does not take into account pending federal government legislation as a result of the Henry Tax Review.

In career terms, Gordon recommends candidates consider what it is they are seeking from an employer before jumping ship.

“If the motivator is career progression, work-life balance or higher salaries, employees should first discuss these with their present employer,” Gordon says.

“Secondly, they should consider whether the prospective future employer can guarantee these opportunities. It could be that they get an extra $5,000, but what will this mean unless they fulfill these career aspirations? It’s important to ask the right questions and be fully informed before you make the jump.”

The Lloyd Morgan Skills Index is prepared by KPMG Econtech.

CareerOne, November 23, 2010.

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