How Can Employers Differentiate Themselves in an Increasingly Competitive Market?

The Finance recruitment market has changed at such pace over the last 12 months with many businesses returning to hiring new staff driven by organic growth, investment, delayed projects being resumed, and natural turnover. After such an unprecedented period of uncertainty the level of hiring is causing a dramatic shift in the market making it highly candidate driven and presenting many opportunities for people who are seeking to make a move into a new role in Finance.

For employers this of course presents a challenge, meaning they have to differentiate themselves as much as possible to stand out when attracting, and retaining the best talent. Here, we look at some of the key areas to consider before making your next hire.


While this was a factor that was becoming increasingly prioritised over the last three years, the last 18 months have seen flexibility and agile working now commonly being propelled to the top of the priority list when candidates are looking to move role. We are seeing an increase in candidates looking for new roles because their current employers are unable to flex around where they work and also how they structure their working day.

While it can be hard for businesses to get the right balance to ensure the needs of the company are being met, it is a major factor for employees when deciding whether to consider a move to an organisation or not. Many businesses have realised that their team’s productivity can be maintained or increased working from home and so many are embracing a hybrid model to get the best of both worlds and in turn get the best out of their employees.


Study Support/CPD/Development

This likely took a backseat during the high-pressured days of uncertainty in the peak of the pandemic but it is a very important area to get back on the agenda into the new year. Not only is it critical for employees to develop and reach their own goals it boosts motivation and engagement and helps people to reach their potential and best utilise their skillset.

Gaining your professional qualification shouldn’t mean the end of your professional development. Offering ongoing training in both soft skills such as stakeholder management, influencing, leadership, personal branding, and technical skills such as Project Management, Systems, Accounting Standards and Commercial Finance will help attract and retain the best talent to your business.


Promoting your Culture and Values

Times have moved on considerably since the priority was on job title and salary only. Candidates now want to understand the feel of an organisation – what is it really like to work there, what are the purpose and values and does the company reflect them in how they operate.

CSR and social commitments also weigh heavily when candidates are assessing a new opportunity with a business, and it can be really effective to display on your website and social media feeds the different initiatives your organisation participates in, as well as sharing profiles and insight from your current employees to give candidates a feel for what life at your business is really like.

With so much remote working now happening and people sometimes starting jobs without having visited premises it is even more important to be able to share as much as you can to entice the right employees for your business. You really want to show what it is like to work in your business and show not only the professional elements of the role but also the fun side too, profiling social occasions or rewards offered to the team.


Recruitment Timescales

In the current market candidates are entering and leaving the market within a matter of days. Employers who are not moving quickly enough are losing out to businesses with slicker recruitment practices. The virtual working world has seen interviews being able to be organised much quicker with no commute to factor in and this is speeding up recruitment timelines. Candidates will likely be in play for more than one role at a time and a delayed recruitment process even by a week or so can be too long.


Salary and Benefits

The demand for talent is driving up salaries in the market but if you can address some of the key areas highlighted above salary is often not the main driver for the best talent joining or remaining with your business. Often the additional benefits on offer can be just as important too which could include flexible work patterns (such as a nine-day fortnight), a good pension, and flexible holiday allowance.

Overall, it is a really exciting time in the senior finance recruitment market just now with an abundance of opportunities out there. With no signs of this slowing down it will be interesting to see some of the hiring trends that happen in 2022.


To discuss your senior finance recruitment needs contact [email protected]