As businesses seek to cut expenses during the pandemic, retaining talent within a firm can be a challenging task – particularly for the accounting industry looking to preserve its professionals now in high demand.
“We have observed that accounting and finance professionals most value working environments with a supportive employee culture, where they feel valued in return,” said Matt Weston, managing director for Robert Half UK, via email.
“By ensuring transparent and regular communication with employees regarding the current state of the business, we have witnessed that employees feel a stronger sense of security.”
Weston says accountants play a vital role in boom and downturn markets – an opportunity for growth and to attract the top talent in the industry.
However, despite these professionals being in high demand, particularly assistant accountants, only 26 percent of CFOs expect to offer salary increases to their teams in the next 12 months, according to studies conducted by Robert Half.
The research shows that the ability to work remotely and flexibly for current employees and newly recruited talent encompasses the top employee incentive for 2021.
To retain staff, Weston believes companies must ensure they have clear work from home and flexible working policies. Guaranteeing proper remuneration for staff is also crucial, even during the current climate, according to Weston.
Over a third of businesses say salary reductions and the inability to increase wages are key concerns when retaining top talent within a firm, according to Robert Half research. Most companies have had to maintain salaries at pre-coronavirus levels.
But losing top talent within a company could have a number of repercussions.
“There is a requisite cost in time and money to recruit an appropriate candidate to replace that team member. We would also advise companies that they should also be prepared to tackle the potential loss in productivity in training new talent and ensuring they are equipped with specific company and sector knowledge,” said Weston.