Market update - from the Career Coaching & Recruitment team

Mar 28, 2018

Market Update

Quarter 1 2018- Overview

In recruitment terms we have experienced a positive start to 2018.  As is typically the case, recruitment activity was slow to pick up in January following the Christmas break. The market recovered in February and to date March has been the busiest month of 2018. That said, the number of roles coming to market as compared to the same time in 2017 is marginally down. However, of the roles coming to the market in 2018, more are being recruited for on a permanent rather than on a contract basis. Another positive development is that there are now more senior level roles coming to the market with increased recruitment activity for positions with salaries in excess of 80k€. We are also continuing to see part-time roles arising more frequently.

Salary levels

Salaries levels are increasing on a steady basis with increments typically in the region of 5 – 8%. Where we are seeing larger increments is in niche and specialist areas such as funds, regulation, compliance and taxation where employers are finding it challenging to source talent.

An emerging trend that we have witnessed in recent months is that candidate salary expectations are sometimes increasing at a faster pace than the rates that employers are willing to pay. This mismatch of salary expectations is becoming more evident at the recently qualified level.


2018 to date has proven to be a positive year in terms of bonus payments with increasing numbers of companies, particularly in financial and professional services paying out bonuses in the first quarter. These bonuses are typically related to the employee and company performance.

Other benefits

Training and Development

In an effort to retain key talent in organisations, we are seeing an increased focus on training and development with more employers now willing to invest in this area and to support the development of their staff.

Flexible working arrangements

Again, as a way in which to reduce attrition levels employers are looking at ways in which they can provide working arrangements that are more conducive to work/life balance and are considerably more open to part-time hours, flexi-time arrangements and work-from-home options.

Sectors Actively Recruiting at Present

  • Financial services
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Healthcare
  • Technology and telecommunications
  • Construction
  • Services

Most in Demand Job titles

  • Finance Analyst
  • Financial Accountant
  • Regulatory Accountant
  • Finance Business Partner
  • Commercial Accountant/Analyst
  • Internal Auditor
  • Fund Accountant
  • Tax Accountant
  • Tax Manager
  • Risk and compliance manager

Skills in Demand

Communication and interpersonal skills

With an increased focus on business partnering within organisations comes the need for high level interpersonal and communication skills. Employers are looking for candidates who can interact and connect with others at all levels of the organisation including at C-Suite level. Not only that, they require you to have the ability to communicate and liaise effectively with others outside of the finance function. The capability to convey, explain and express financial terms and data to non-finance employees in a coherent and understandable manner is a growing requirement.

Data analysis

Organisations are increasingly drilling down into their data and those with the skills to do so are in demand. Experience using Excel including Vlook-Ups and  pivot tables is much sought after. A track record of using business intelligence tools such as Power BI and Tableau are very much of interest to employers also.


GDPR is a hot topic at the moment. Many Chartered Accountants are now finding that they are the go to person in their organisation when it comes to the interpretation and implementation of this new regulation. Therefore expertise is this area is valuable and will continue to be as organisations come to terms with the implications for their business of the regulations.

The outlook for 2018

We would be optimistic in relation to the outlook for the remainder of the year and we are looking forward to a busy 2018. Obviously there are a number of other factors on the horizon, not least Brexit, where it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the recruitment market. 

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