The finance and accounting industry is currently grappling with a convergence of mounting inflation and stagnant incomes, eliciting significant apprehension among industry experts. 

In addition, employers find themselves burdened with managing budget cuts amid a scarcity of skilled workers, further exacerbating their challenges.

Amidst hiring freezes and economic layoffs, organizations are intensifying their efforts to retain exceptional employees and effectively navigate the prevailing economic uncertainties.

Against this backdrop, this article aims to:

Woman smiling looking away while sitting down and holding her phone.
Woman smiling looking away while sitting down and holding her phone.

the underlying factors that have contributed to the prevailing labour market conditions

The prevailing labour market conditions are influenced by a multitude of economic factors, including the shifting demographics and evolving market dynamics. 

In this regard, Statistics Canada's insightful data sheds light on the current state of the Canadian labour force, which currently comprises approximately 21 million individuals. Looking ahead to 2036, projections indicate a notable growth to nearly 23 million.

However, the country's negative birth rate has contributed to an overall decline in the population, carrying significant implications for future job vacancies. 

Notably, in 2022, Statistics Canada estimated that approximately 940,000 positions will remain unfilled, with Ontario accounting for around 355,000 and Quebec for approximately 230,000 of these vacancies.

To address the imminent retirements and bridge the workforce gaps, Canada has witnessed a steady increase in the number of immigrants entering the labour market. 

Presently, foreign-born individuals account for 24% of newcomers. Looking ahead to 2036, this upward trend is projected to rise to 36%, making them a vital source of labour in meeting the evolving demands of the labour market.

the evolving dynamics between employees and employers

The relationship between employees and employers has undergone significant changes, characterized by a notable shift towards worker mobility. The impact of the Great Resignation phenomenon continues to reverberate throughout the employment landscape.

A collaborative study conducted with Ipsos surveyed 1,505 Canadians, revealing that nearly half of them (46%) have voluntarily resigned from their jobs within the past two years. This high turnover rate showcases the extent of workforce churn in recent times.

Furthermore, within the same survey sample, approximately one in five individuals (17%) made the decision to leave traditional employment altogether. Instead, they opted for self-employment, retirement, or took a career break. These choices contribute to the current tightness observed in the labor market.

Compounding the situation, retirements have experienced a significant 30% year-on-year increase, as reported by Statistics Canada. This surge in retirements adds additional pressure on employers as they strive to retain top talent within an increasingly competitive labor market.

In light of these dynamics, employers face the challenge of not only attracting skilled individuals but also implementing effective strategies to retain them amidst heightened competition for talent.

graphic showing the evolution of the dynamics between employees and employers
graphic showing the evolution of the dynamics between employees and employers

the salary trends in the finance and accounting sector

The finance and accounting sector experienced substantial growth in the labour market throughout 2020. However, this momentum has since slowed, coinciding with a persistent rise in inflation.

According to the salary forecast by Normandin Beaudry, employees in the sector can anticipate a 4.2% salary increase in 2023. However, it is worth noting that this proposed increase needs to catch up to the escalating inflation rates being witnessed.

This challenges employees as their wage growth may need to catch up to the inflation rate, ultimately impacting their purchasing power. Consequently, a demand surge for higher pay will likely ensue as individuals seek to mitigate the effects of eroding real wages.

salary trends finance and accounting
salary trends finance and accounting

how to thrive in the current labour market thanks to effective strategies

To effectively navigate this situation, it is crucial to consider the challenges you are facing, such as hiring urgency and budgetary constraints. However, there are several strategies and recommendations you can gradually implement to address these issues and achieve your goals:

1. offer competitive advantages

Start by providing competitive salaries, particularly for high performers or individuals with highly sought-after skills in the market. If offering competitive salaries is challenging, consider adopting market salary averages using resources like our salary guide.

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2. include the benefits sought by the talent to the compensation plan

In cases where a market adjustment of salaries is not feasible, implementing various retention and attraction strategies can be highly effective. These strategies may include:

Are you interested in taking your compensation packages to the next level by offering non-monetary benefits?

We invite you to read our article on the most sought-after benefits for talent this year. This comprehensive article explores the essential must-haves, unique differentiators, and intangible perks that can truly make a difference.

By exploring these benefits, you can provide your employees with something that goes beyond financial compensation, catering to their specific needs and aspirations.

3. focus on awesome employee benefits that cost next to nothing

If you are currently unable to offer the aforementioned benefits, we understand your situation. However, we strongly recommend implementing an attractive compensation plan to ensure your success.

This can involve incorporating inexpensive yet meaningful benefits for your employees, such as recognition programs and non-monetary perks. We believe that reviewing your compensation and benefits program is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent.

Our team is dedicated to assisting you throughout this process, considering your specific needs and budget. Contact us today to discuss your objectives and leverage our expertise.

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We would like to emphasize that the information provided here represents only a fraction of our expertise.

If you require additional guidance and deeper insights or have specific inquiries regarding employment and recruitment trends in the finance and accounting sector, we encourage you to reach out to us, use the form below.

We have specialized resources at our disposal to cater to your specific requirements and address your unique needs effectively.

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