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How to Attract and Retain Talent in a Candidate-Driven Market

Written by: Evie Courtier
Published on: 4 May 2023

Hiring advice

This year has seen employers witness a year of financial turbulence; with pressure to provide increased reward and remuneration to attract and retain talent.

According to the 2023 GAAPweb salary survey, 60% of our audience received a pay rise, 51% a bonus, and 68% saw hybrid working become a new norm in their working lives. Having seen a year of healthy wages, bonus opportunities and increased flexibility, we ask ourselves how employers can attract and retain talent in the candidate-driven market.

Your Brand:

The heightened competition to attract top talent across the finance and accountancy profession has seen employers not only raise their benefit stakes, yet develop innovative strategies to enhance their chances of securing strong candidates.

The first thing to consider is your reputation as an employer. For direct employers particularly, showcasing your company culture, employee benefits, diversity and inclusion initiatives and career development opportunities across your own site and social media, naturally boosts your credibility. Sharing stories of employee success, awards and promotions helps to build a positive image around your organisation.

Participating in or sponsoring industry events, career fairs, and workshops not only aids brand image but provides networking opportunities with potential candidates. Conducting online or in-person networking events exposes candidates to your expertise and broadens the recruitment talent pool.

Competitive Compensation and Benefits:

As noted in our salary survey, 71% of the GAAPWeb community feel satisfied in their role. Alongside this, just shy of half of our audience (49%) have been in their current role for 4+ years. With this in mind, it’s apparent that employers need to up the stakes and offer more to entice candidates to jump ship. For employers, understanding what fuels a team’s loyalty, whether that be salary or a flexible work arrangement, is the key to retaining top talent.

The upward trend of employees staying in their jobs for longer indicates that finance professionals are becoming increasingly cautious about changing roles due to the ongoing economic uncertainty. To retain talent, it’s crucial that competitive salaries, bonuses and benefits such as retirement plans, childcare or flexible working arrangements, are offered.

When posed the question ‘what’s most important to you in your job’ our audience responded with an almost uniform split between salary and flexible/hybrid working. The mere 1% difference exemplifies the positive impact that hybrid/remote working has had on the working lives of finance professionals.

Career Development and Progression:

Accountancy jobs open a myriad of doors for candidates. The finance world presents a prosperous and celebrated career path, with an almost linear pathway to the top. Offering support with qualifications, such as ACCA or CIMA, alongside opportunities to attend leadership development programmes, working with a mentor, or other training possibilities are perks very welcomed by the industry.

Develop Comprehensive Job Descriptions:

The fluidity of the present job market is demonstrated by a fifth of our audience, who are yet to hit their first anniversary. Attracting new starters commences with the job description. Developing comprehensive job adverts, accurately reflecting job requirements, responsibilities, benefits and salary is crucial to get candidates through the door.

At GAAPweb, we reiterate the need to tailor your job descriptions to the candidate and role. After all, an adverts response is impacted by how well the site can match your roles to the right candidates. We’ve incorporated a few top tips below, on how to write your job adverts to their full potential:

  • Use standardised job title copy: keep it simple, and just list the job title. It’s worth including ‘hybrid’ within your job title, to entice candidates. For example, ‘Financial Controller – Hybrid’.
  • Stay away from using generic text about your recruitment agency or business: google and search algorithms will reject any duplicate copy and index your adverts lower than your competitors.
  • Always include a visible salary band: use bullet points, headings and paragraphs to their full potential: over 55% of our views are from mobile, so long, unorganised copy results in an unengaged job advert.
  • Think about your keywords: without relevant keywords, google and other search engines won’t be able to decipher that your description relates to the relevant job title. Consider synonyms of the job title, such as CFO and Chief Financial Officer, and ensure that you mention specific industries and qualifications if applicable.


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