Hiring in Accounting and Finance: Adaptation to market trends essential to attract talent

Michele Manabat, Manager of Commerce Finance, Robert Walters Philippines

Hiring activity increased slightly in 2022 as organisations moved towards hybrid or full “return-to-office” structures. However, this could be attributed less to expansions but to backfills from employees affected by the transition’s impact on work-life integration, says Michele Manabat, Manager of Commerce Finance, Robert Walters Philippines.

The possible impending recession may have disrupted expansion hiring plans mid-search, with employers taking a more cost-effective approach by reassessing and implementing strategies to retain and maximise current manpower to meet business goals.

Economic climate lowering Peso value and increasing the cost of living have resulted in higher salary expectations, with jobseekers receiving multiple offers below their expected compensation.

Read on as Michele shares her expectations of the labour market and hiring trends for accounting and finance professionals in 2023.

Flexibility, hybrid roles among key hiring trends in 2023

In 2023, the Philippines will further strengthen as a hub for shared services and BPO companies. New entrants are already beginning to invest in the country’s talent with anticipated hiring plans for accounting and finance professionals in 2023, Michele notes.

In this overall bustling climate, Michele expects flexibility will continue to be the norm. “Companies unable to implement remote or hybrid work arrangements will find it difficult to retain and attract talent, considering competition from foreign companies beginning to employ skilled finance and accounting professionals on remote work structures and with higher compensation,” she shares.

Jobseekers will be more cautious of company stability amid uncertainty of an impending recession. We expect more organisations to provide clear company plans and career development opportunities, as it would be key to attracting and retaining talent.

Likewise, organisations are shifting to a more strategic finance approach with the need for hybrid exposure to FP&A to cater to specific divisions within their businesses.

“FP&A is becoming more hybrid with an integrated business partnership responsibility. As these business partnership roles are more prevalent in B2C companies, B2B companies are beginning to integrate these positions to help identify new opportunities for growth,” shares Michele.

Potential corporate investments, acquisitions, and ventures due to the economic climate are calling for more corporate finance professionals with experience in financial modelling to ensure business ventures are suitable for the organisation.

End-to-end finance and accounting managers with well-rounded experience in general accounting, fiduciary compliance, and finance has been a demand for smaller regional and multinational company hubs looking to bring in a finance representative for the Philippine office.

Project management – particularly in digital transformation and automation – will continue to be in high demand. “Professionals with stakeholder management skills will be sought after, as it will be crucial for managing stakeholders amid uncertainty,” notes Michele.

Talent retention crucial in uncertain economic climate

Organisations are advised to continue to adapt accordingly to the economic climate and market trends.

“As retention of talent is crucial in this climate, it is key for companies to ensure employees’ opinions are valued and to assure them of clear business plans and career direction,” shares Michele.

With the heightened awareness on mental and physical well-being, both candidates and existing employees will be considering factors such as flexible work arrangements and health benefits extended to family members to make crucial decisions on employment changes.

Salary rises of 25-30% expected to secure top talent

Michele expects salaries will not increase significantly in 2023. However, she suggests companies consider helping to cover inflation and the increased cost of living in salary reviews.

With the anticipated candidate-driven market in 2023, hiring managers are expected to be more aggressive by offering salary increases of 25-30% to immediately secure the right talent, who are often expected to have multiple simultaneous applications.

Find out more

Request access to our 2023 Salary Survey to benchmark salaries and to find out more about the latest hiring and talent trends for Accounting and Finance professionals in the Philippines.