Senior Financial Market update - Written by Paul McClatchie
At Careers Register we speak to organisations and candidates on a daily basis, therefore we are in a strong position to observe how the market has been in Ireland in recent years for Financial Controllers, Finance Directors and CFO level Accountants.
The domestic market and in particular the property sector had a strong appetite for Accountants with a commercial blend of skills who could structure lucrative property deals with optimum tax outcomes. Multinational business sectors were buoyant with great candidate confidence whereby there was plenty of movement resulting in open vacancies and the Banking and Financial Services sector, while becoming quieter was still a big employer of experienced Accountants in Reporting roles as well as across the Relationship Management and Leasing side in particular.
From an employment perspective, it’s widely regarded that 2009 was the lowest point on the basis that not only did domestic confidence dip, the International sector which we’re highly reliant on in Ireland panicked and made significant redundancies and needless to say, the Banking sector was in similar shape.
Factors that hamper the number of existing vacancies
Generally the lack of confidence existing in the market is an element. For example, if you have been employed as a Finance Director and been paid €120,000 per year with extras and your employer has stood by you while the world was shaking, there would be a nervousness about dipping your toe in the water to look around once the challenge has gone stale. This lack of movement means that there are less roles being created. There is also a lack of confidence from companies to make a big purchase in this space in the form of paying out 100K+ for a permanent hire. This has created a busier Interim Contract environment and a ‘try before you buy’ culture which can work comfortably for both sides.
When referring to the International sector, we often think of US Multinational software organisations but there are a number of Irish Plc’s with global revenue who are interested in the value of the market. The key aspect is to ensure an employer of this nature is aware of exactly what you’ll bring to a role – will it add revenue or save them time/money?
Having spoken to five specific individuals who occupied Senior positions over a number of years and following a spell of up to 2 years of unemployment have since landed a new long term role – the following pointers are worth considering:
- After the initial shock of redundancy, try and take some time to enjoy yourself. While it’s easier said than done, this may be the first and last period of your life for quite some time where you’ll have time on your hands to walk the Wicklow Mountains.
- Do your research and keep you finger on the pulse. A large number of the organisations that have recently set up in Ireland are in industries that did not exist 10 years ago and this trend seems set to continue. While these employers tend to hire from their own sector as a first instance, if you’re ‘in the know’ about what’s coming down the line you may have an advantage.
- The IDA continue their outstanding work in ensuring that Ireland punches above our weight in attracting these firms and reviewing their recent good news stories is a useful investment of time.
- Network and enjoy it. LinkedIn is a useful tool and it is worthwhile not only to meet up with- contacts that work with interesting employers, but speak to your previous colleagues as far back as it goes – these folks know exactly how good you are. They don’t need to know how active you are in the market but by letting them know discreetly that you’re up for your next challenge may lead them to offering a golden recommendation for you in the future.
- Upgrade your skills - While the dream role may involve a commercial position whereby you utilise your financial skills to make sound decisions with other functions such as sales and marketing, the market needs strong controls in place. There are plenty of IFRS (& similar) courses which will give you a step up in interview.
- Know your value - The most important message to understand is that at the end of the day, it’s not about you it’s about them (the employer). Very specifically, are you going to save them time, money or add revenue? What examples do you have? Is this evident from your CV?
Paul McClatchie manages Careers Register, the Financial & Legal division of Cpl Resources Plc. Paul has worked in the Financial recruitment sector for over ten years. Paul.McClatchie@Careers-Register.com | +35315005913