We’ve experienced a lot of uncertainty in the last year or two in all areas of society, including the job market. Layoffs, furloughs and hiring freezes plagued most industries and discouraged job seekers looking for positions to match their abilities and experience.
Now that much of the country is returning to normal (or to a new normal), the situation has changed. Companies that lost parts of their workforce need to fill those positions again. Others need to both make up for last year’s freeze and meet this year’s boom. On top of that, a subset of the workforce has decided not to come back to work at all (YOLO culture).
Together, these factors mean the job market in finance and accounting is hotter right now than it’s ever been. Companies need to fill a backlog of roles, and they need to do it now.
So how can you make sure you’re the first to step in and fill those gaps?
“In a post-pandemic world, they need smart and skilled talent with relevant experience to populate their companies.”
What Does This Mean for Candidates?
Hiring confidence is coming back with a vengeance. Companies trying to keep up with the reopening world are prioritizing efficiency and speed in their hiring processes. After the pandemic, they’re low on staff, low on resources and low on morale. They need a boost, and they need people.
This is where you come in. Research from McKinsey shows that people in positions of power are prepared to do things a little differently post-pandemic. They’re prepared to take risks, switch up workplace norms, and more.
You may remember a similar hiring boom in the late 90s, but I would argue that this period is different in one key aspect. Companies aren’t just looking for warm bodies, for one more number cruncher to fill a seat. In a post-pandemic world, they need smart and skilled talent with relevant experience to populate their companies. For motivated candidates, this is a golden time to make your mark and set yourself up for success.
How To Not Screw It Up
You have more choice as a candidate today than ever before. It’s an exciting time, and can feel like you have the pick of the litter. When you’re a hot commodity, it’s possible for that excitement to erode some of the important considerations and practices that go along with making a transition.
Certain actions will mark you as unprofessional. They can even saddle you with a reputation that could haunt you in the future, when opportunity wanes. The most egregious actions include:
- Not showing up for interviews
- Not preparing for interviews
- Accepting an offer, then reneging for another offer
- Leaving your current job without two weeks notice
All these actions will have long-term consequences. They’ll reflect back on your personal character and judgment, and the people in your industry — in your network even — will remember them in the future.
How To Make the Most of It
As a candidate, you can feel like companies have all the power and control, and you need to look out for yourself no matter what. To an extent, that’s true. But your actions in this process will reflect on your character and judgment, not theirs.
Remember that while you should absolutely be selective and choose the opportunity that best suits you, you don’t have to burn anyone to do it. People move around a lot in Silicon Valley, and you never know when you might run into that same hiring manager at another company in the future. So don’t burn bridges with companies as a whole or with the people who work in them.
In the interview stages, be sure to treat those making hiring decisions with respect. Prepare well for interviews, show up on time, and maintain a level of professionalism that you’re proud of. If you do receive an offer, exercise the same standards.
You’d be amazed at how much hiring managers appreciate honesty and transparency. If you have two offers at once, simply communicate that clearly. They’ll appreciate your honesty, and you might even find out who’s more eager for your services.
Because of the pressure to hire quickly, companies aren’t doing as much due diligence as in the past. That means it’s your responsibility, now more than ever, to make sure that the opportunity you accept is well-suited to you and your future plans.
“By acting professionally and communicating clearly, you declare yourself a competent and capable professional, desirable for any company looking to hire.”
Remember to think about the long term when weighing your options. Though it’s tempting to accept a quick offer, really consider whether the position is the right fit for you. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Will this job help me accomplish my long-term goals?
- Does the culture of the company suit me?
- Do I know enough about this opportunity to make a decision?
- Am I interested for the right reasons?
It’s not in anyone’s best interests — yours, or the company’s that made you the offer — if you take a job that only suits you in the short term, and that you’ll quit in six months’ time. If you feel that you’d like to meet more people, just ask to do so. By the time you receive an offer, the ball is in your court, and if the process has moved too quickly for your diligence process, it’s okay to ask for more time.
By acting professionally and communicating clearly, you declare yourself a competent and capable professional, desirable for any company looking to hire. You avoid burning bridges you might need in the future, and you find the job that best fits your skills, experience and goals.
If you want to make the most of the hottest market in finance and accounting recruitment in memory, come and chat with the people who know the industry best. Schedule a consultation with a member of our team, and let’s see what could be around the corner for you.
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