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What do accountancy professionals want when applying to jobs?

Written by: Hays
Published on: 3 Jul 2024

At Hays, we take pride in offering valuable industry insights to both organisations and jobseekers, as evidenced by our annual report, What Workers Want. This report uncovers what jobseekers want during the job application process, based on survey responses from nearly 11,900 professionals.


Handshake in office


The indicators of a quality job advert

Our research shows that omitting certain information in your job advert can deter a significant portion of potential talent. For most accountancy and finance professionals, a job description alone isn’t sufficient. For example, 83% of professionals in this industry said they wouldn’t even consider applying to a role that doesn’t disclose the salary within the job advert.

Additionally, proof of investment in personal development is crucial, with 79% of professionals in this industry insisting on having this information before applying to a role. From our research, we also found that younger age demographics tended to prioritise clear career plans and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), while older age groups were more interested in seeing detailed descriptions of an organisation’s products and services.

So, when it comes to job adverts, employers should be ensuring they’re including more than just the basics in order to attract the right calibre of applicants, while jobseekers should be wary of submitting their CV to a role if they’re not provided with enough of the information necessary to paint a clear picture of what it would be like to work at that organisation.


The rise of AI in the job application process

While currently only 6% of accountancy and finance employers utilise AI tools for assessing job applications, such as scanning CVs and scoring applicants, over a quarter (26%) expect its usage will increase in future, and a further 46% are unsure if it will or not. The future of AI for assessing job applications evidently remains largely uncertain, but what is clear is that jobseekers value transparency; four-in-five (80%) in this industry express the desire to be informed if AI tools are being used by prospective employers. Therefore, if you’re looking to attract top talent, be sure to be upfront with applicants about any AI usage.

Our research also uncovered the AI habits of jobseekers; 19% of accountancy and finance professionals anticipate using AI tools themselves when job searching in future, such as to enhance their CV and support them with applications. If you’re considering using AI to support with your job search, first conduct some research to make sure you’re well-equipped to get the best out of this technology. Ultimately, it could save you a lot of time and add great value.


Stay up to date with the latest market trends

To attract top accountancy and finance talent, or to maximise your own development, it’s crucial to stay informed with the latest trends in the ever-evolving world of work. Knowing what to include in a job advert can increase your chances of receiving high-calibre applicants, while being informed about what makes a good role advertisement can help you suss out which vacancies are worth applying for. For further guidance on attracting the right accountancy and finance talent or increasing your chances of career success, we’re here to support with our expert insights, advice and services.


To discover more insights into what accountancy and finance professionals want from a job application process, take a look at our What Workers Want 2024 report

Planning to make the next step in your chartered accountancy career? ICAEW Jobs  can support your career journey. You can find out more about the latest job opportunities and careers advice on the ICAEW Jobs website today.