Recruitment for accountants across commerce and industry (C&I) in England and Wales have continued growing after a record 2021, according to research from global recruiters Morgan McKinley and data analysts Vacancysoft.

Hiring levels for C&I accountants in 2021 finished with growth of 68% year-on-yea, and an uplift of of 22% in relation to pre-pandemic levels.

Technology and telecoms firms overtook retailers as the busiest hirers, publishing a combined 4,000 new jobs in 2021 representing a rise of 102% year-on-year.

Morgan McKinley operations director Darren Burns said:  “The commerce industry remains in high demand for attracting talent with candidates having multiple offers across a wide span of industries. This makes it increasingly challenging for companies to secure the candidate they are offered. Candidates are looking for finance leaders who have created accounting departments to be more strategic and innovative and drawn to companies where finance teams are not just spending their time on manual, tedious processes, particularly since there are now many platforms that eliminate the need to perform routine, monthly tasks. There’s been a real shift in working habits, technology adoption and employee expectations and it has to be a priority for CFOs to work hard to engage their workforce.”

“It’s never been more important to offer support and career progression. Within the commerce landscape, 15% of the finance population have moved within the last 12 months with candidates seeking a change within 2.5 years. It’s never been so important to invest in people and technology to keep the job interesting as there are plenty of other options available. Attrition is as high as 31% in some larger organisations as employees focus more on their job satisfaction and not just pay. Candidates are taking advantage of the rapidly loosening UK labour market, and this will continue well into 2022.”