Brilliant releases Q1 2017 hiring forecast for accounting

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Staffing and management resources firm Brilliant -- which specializes in accounting, finance, and IT careers -- recently published their “Q1 2017 Accounting, Finance & Information Technology Hiring Forecast." Brilliant conducted the survey between Oct. 17 and Oct. 31, 2016, polling over 500 human resources professionals and hiring managers on their outlooks for Q1 of the New Year.

The survey found that around 30% of accounting/finance business reported to have unfilled, full-time positions, with the majority of respondents hoping to fill said positions “ASAP.” The report found that the most common accounting/finance openings were in "financial analysis, tax, general accounting, internal auditing, and operations/support."

“The overall strength in hiring plans indicates that human resources professionals and hiring managers expect continued business growth and gains in nationwide employment during the year ahead,” stated Dr. Richard Curtin, director, Surveys of Consumers at the University of Michigan and the report's co-author. “One-in-five firms expect to increase their hiring of accounting, finance and information technology teams at the same robust pace as the past year.”

“Our study brings important insight into the future of accounting, finance and IT, and the overall health of the labor market," said Brilliant CEO Jim Wong, per a statement. "We remain optimistic that the strength in hiring plans indicates continued growth given the recent unpredictable performance of the economy.”

Amongst the survey findings, 29 percent of polled respondents cited one or more available openings at accounting/finance businesses, which was down from the 34% cited for the same figure in Q4 of 2016. The report noted that this represented the "smallest proportion to report unfilled accounting/finance positions since the Q4 2014 hiring forecast" when 28 percent reported to have unfilled positions.

The majority of respondents only cited 1 to 3 open positions to fill at accounting/finance businesses.

The sources for finding "successful hires" also represented some change in the accounting profession. "Search and Recruitment Firms" remained the top source for finding accounting/finance professionals, with "Online Job Boards" increasing 7% from last quarter. "Social Media" also saw a notable 3% decrease. (In another figure, 57% of firms still expected to use social media to attract talent in Q1 2017.)

Concerning the most desired skillsets "missing among qualified candidates," "Expertise" and "Problem-Solving" remained the top answers going into the New Year. “Communication," often seen as a necessary soft-skill, actually decreased for the fourth-straight quarter.

To download the full report, head to Brilliant's site here.

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