Now we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after the last 2 years of unprecedented lockdowns and economic uncertainty, the demand for new employees is at an all time high. Many job seekers were holding off a move into a new role due to concerns over financial uncertainty of many businesses, especially those directly affected by government closures such as retail and hospitality industries. Now with lockdown lifted and all restrictions removed, the financial recruitment market is busier than ever, with many companies given the green light to begin recruiting again, and luckily accounting being a profession that is critical to all businesses.
With many companies looking to expand their team, there is certainly a conversation to be had as to whether to take on a seasoned professional holding a full qualification or take on somebody who is still studying. Despite the very obvious factor of a part-qualified professional usually being a cheaper option, there are many other factors to consider when deciding which level of candidate will be right for you.
Due to being within the learning stage of their career, part qualified professionals are typically happier to pick up a wider variety of duties as they want to gain as much exposure as possible. For example, a part qualified Management Accountant is more likely to be willing to cover more responsibilities such as processing invoices and bank reconciliations alongside more senior duties of preparing management accounts. A qualified accountant is less likely to be willing to “muck in” with more transactional duties.
Not only are part qualified professionals typically more cost effective, they also fall under a large number of different salary brackets depending on their years of experience and more often than not, how many exams they have remaining in their qualification. A finalist with 2 exams remaining may be looking for a slightly higher salary due to the likelihood of them qualifying over the following year, however a candidate with 5 or more exams remaining is likely to be a considerably cheaper option with potentially more experience.
In order to make your role more appealing to a part qualified market, study support is extremely attractive. With professional membership fees and exam costs becoming a huge financial strain, offering to cover these expenses helps ensure your hire can continue to learn new skills whilst also feeling supported by their workplace. This also means that by investing in their future, you can help to build a strong bond and increase longevity and loyalty in your team and to the company. I would also say that part qualified candidates tend to be more motivated due to their desire to become qualified and progress within their career.
In conclusion, despite not quite having their certificate in a frame yet, part qualified finance professionals have a huge amount to offer. Due to this factor, they are also extremely desirable and come on and off the market very quickly. They are likely to be progressing with other opportunities alongside yours, so remember to keep your process as concise as possible and make your opportunity the most captivating.