According to the Kforce Finance & Accounting 2014 Salary and Employment Guide, 71 percent of recruiters report that in-demand candidates receive one to three job offers before accepting a position, while 58 percent report that these professionals stay on the job market for 20 days or less.
With these highly sought after candidates being pursued by multiple organizations and vanishing from the job market within just weeks, it is no surprise that in-demand candidates are receiving higher compensation than their counterparts in the field.
“Certain positions pay better than others for a variety of reasons,” said Kimberly Duffy-Wylam, president and managing partner of Vantagen, a human resources and benefits consulting firm and wholly owned subsidiary of ParenteBeard, which is ranked among the top 25 accounting firms in the U.S. “If the labor pool for a particular position is relatively small or if the employer is growing at a rate which they can’t get enough people in the door fast enough, employers will often times incent candidates by offering higher wages.”
Troy Ashby, CPA, senior market manager for Kforce Finance & Accounting, notes that these positions are also seeing significant salary increases year-over-year.
“Specific niche positions, or in-demand positions, are definitely where we are seeing the most significant increase in compensation,” said Ashby. “Current market conditions dictate that a professional may experience double digit salary growth year over year even with the same qualifications because employers have to stay aggressive to ensure they attract the best talent.”
Salary Guide Results
According to the 2014 Salary Guide, Accounts Payable Analysts and Accounts Receivable Analysts can expect the largest compensation increases in 2014, receiving a 14 percent and 12 percent year-over-year increase, respectively. Employers can expect continued competition for professionals with these skills, while accounting and analysis skills also remain in demand.
“With unemployment rates dropping and demand increasing during our economic recovery, the market has become increasingly more candidate-driven over the last year; for example, The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report showed college educated unemployment was 3.5 percent this August,” said Ashby. “As a result compensation has increased across the board, especially in professional fields.”
However, salaries can vary due to a variety of factors including company size, practices, conditions and geographical locations. Individual experience, responsibilities, qualifications, credentials, skills and competencies can also affect a candidate’s salary expectations.
“What employers will typically look at is how many people they need and what they can afford in total compensation,” said Duffy-Wylam. “Then they will look to benchmark their salary structure to their competition in the geographical market and/or by their industry. Geography and Industry are the two key factors when competing for talent.”
In order to attract top talent, organizations should ensure that compensation, at a minimum, is at least equal to the competition locally. To ensure competitive wages and retaining talent, a compensation strategy is also key.
“Having a compensation strategy, even if it’s extremely basic will allow organizations to have their finger on the pulse of compensation in terms of what’s going on with their organization, their industry and their geographical location,” said Duffy-Wylam.
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