Executive Search: CFO Market Insight
A new era
- CFO headcount growth double in The North compared to London
- Overall compensation structures increase across the UK
- Finance-related activity rife within online, retail, hospitality, technology and travel
Now that all restrictions are lifted – a month earlier than planned – we can see if Boris’s bold announcement to the world that Britain is firmly over the pandemic hill has proven worthy as a catalyst to get the economy moving.
If hiring trends are anything to go by then we certainly are back in business – and have been for some time. In fact, 2021 was 114% up on 2020 job vacancy levels – that’s a 69% increase on a three-year average. January has remained true to that trend – with early signs illustrating this could be another record-breaking year.
Remote chance of finding talent
Whilst London has grown in share of total hiring – now representing 44% of all job vacancies - the real jewel in the crown is The North, where the North West (+113%), North East (+128%), and Yorkshire (+126%) have all recorded record job vacancies as most firms removed geographical barriers amidst the tightest labour market seen in over 20 years.
Data reveals that the number of CFO’s living in The North increased by 11.1% - double what was recorded in London at 5.1%. Similar to the capital, Birmingham experienced a migration of finance talent out of the city to neighbouring areas such as Coventry and Nottingham.
Premiums do remain intact when working for a London-based business, however the rise in location agnostic hires has resulted in incremental salary increases across the whole of the UK.
Pre-pandemic Chief Execs would want their CFO to be based in the HQ with them at least four days a week, now it doesn’t matter if a CEO see’s their no.2 less than once a fortnight!
An Offer You Can’t Refuse
The primary challenge for businesses is that every sector – regardless of recovery stage - is now looking to recruit the same kind of talent. At the height of the pandemic businesses shed a layer of skin, with CFO’s now looking to replace that layer and bring that support back tenfold in the way of financial planners & analysts, governance & control experts, and specialists within commercial finance.
Attraction will all boil down to what a company has to offer – with the primary offering being:
- Enhanced remuneration and bonus structure
- Pre-agreed career path & succession planning
- Investment in leadership skills and profile raising (L&D)
- Ample flexibility – particularly location
|East of England||+3%|
Changes Afoot: Industries to watch
What types of projects are driving the need to hire development talent?Across 2020 people realised the direction needed to change – everything became more remote, so finding means to get to people digitally became more vital.
Why is there a development skills shortage?Professionals are expecting senior roles with little experience or only experience in one language/framework, and so therefore their ability to lead, carry, and communicate is going to be lacking for the amount of money you’re going to be paying. There is a real lack of really experienced developers.
How can businesses address the development skills shortage?When recruiting it’s all about identifying the really determined people - and this doesn’t mean they come from the best colleges, it is the mindset and thirst to learn. We’re still always on the lookout for the really experienced seniors too who like passing on knowledge
Are there disadvantages from remote working?Even with regular employee socials online, you’re never going to build as tight of a bond as people who meet in person in the office. There’s a feeling of belonging, with more collaboration on projects.
What things will impact the development market?New technologies and concerns are continuously creating a boost. In the past we’ve seen demand pick-up because of Blockchain and AI, whereas now the newer focus is on Cybersecurity and soon AR/VR.