Finance skills in high demand

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of employers say retention of qualified accountants will be a key priority in 2011, with four in 10 (40 per cent) worried they won’t be able to hold onto their star players. The research suggests they may have good reason to worry, with two-thirds (67 per cent) of senior finance professionals saying they intend to look for a new job in the new year.

Nik Pratap, Operations Director for Hays Senior Finance in Yorkshire, says: “Companies of all sizes, from blue-chip multinationals to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), have been lifting headcount freezes to ease the burden of existing finance teams. Employers are also making more use of interim appointments, with some companies paying interim chief financial officers (CFOs) up to £880 a day.”

In Yorkshire, CFOs and group finance directors in large corporate organisations can earn £200-500,000, with many employers paying more to fill their most senior vacancies than they did prior to the onset of the economic downturn.

Mr Pratap said: “Competition has already intensified to the extent that senior finance professionals routinely receive more than one job offer. Employers are increasingly being trumped by lucrative counter-offers, as CEOs and board directors attempt to hang onto their finance chiefs. Talented qualified accountants are increasingly being sought-after for financial analysis roles, or to help mitigate operational or business risk“Many of our clients in retail, FMCG and healthcare continued to recruit through the recession, but there’s been acceleration in Yorkshire recently.”