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May 2009

Gardner's Accounting and Finance Update
May 2009

Happy Spring everyone!  We hope this finds you doing well, especially given the nature of today's business climate. 

As you know, Gardner Resources Group is a boutique Accounting and Finance placement firm.  We distribute our "Market Update" newsletter electronically in an effort to educate both our clients and candidates on current hiring practices, trends and market conditions.  We hope that you find it useful as you look to hire additional staff or if you are engaged in or thinking about looking for a new career opportunity. 

As we all know, it is a brave new world out there.  We decided to take a look back at our newsletter from exactly one year ago and compare the highlights of the market in 2008 to the reality of the market today: 

  • At this time last year, we were in the midst of what looked like a national recession but one that had not yet started to upset the apple cart in New England. In fact, 2008 was a tremendous year for most organizations until right around the November/December time frame when things came to a halt across the board. 
  • The hiring landscape in May 2008 continued to reflect a shortage of qualified candidates and most companies were still struggling to meet internal hiring demands. 
  • Counter offers were at an all time high with employers doing everything they could to keep valued staff on their team and not with their competitors.
  • Candidates were receiving multiple offers and clients were really making an effort to put their best foot forward to hire top caliber employees.

Now for the reality of what we are seeing today: the current market is one of complete contradictions and counter-intuitiveness, from every angle.  That is, everything you would traditionally expect to see in a 'recession'  is 360 degrees from the reality of what we are witnessing and experiencing. Case in point:
  • Historically, recessions lead to a plethora of Accounting/Finance professionals being laid off because they are viewed as 'overhead' and a drain on the bottom line.  The reality of today's market does not support this past trend.  We have found that very few candidates in the Accounting/Finance/Tax/Audit arena are out of work during this recession.  The foundation of Gardner Resources' business over the past 13 years has been built on networking and the vast majority of our network, while they may know of friends or family out of work, they know very few people with an Accounting/Finance background who are currently on the job market.
  • Temporary Accounting & Finance business lines have boomed in past recessions because companies don't want to incur the expenses associated with permanent employees.  The reality of this recession is that there is not the deluge of temporary opportunities available as there have been in prior recessions. 
  • In previous recessions the hiring of credit/collection and tax roles peak during challenging economic times as companies scramble to collect their receivables and/or look to find creative ways to earn more revenue.  While there has been an increase in clients who are looking to hire tax professionals, especially FAS 109 experts, we have seen virtually no collection opportunities available. 

The similarities between today's market and the market of a year ago are few and far between with the exception of these two noteworthy situations:
1. There is still a shortage of really solid, qualified candidates available in the Accounting/Finance/Tax/Audit arena.
2. Candidates are still receiving multiple job offers.  We would assert that this is in direct correlation with the fact that there is still a shortage of candidates available for hire.  Companies that are beginning to staff up again are competing with each other for what is still a limited supply of qualified candidates.

As we move into the middle of 2009, the good news is that there is improved market confidence compared to Q1, where a virtual standstill of all internal hiring occurred.  The even better news is that most indicators point toward Q4 as a more active period for internal staff expansion.

We wish you all a good Spring/Summer and thank you in advance for referring any one you know who needs help navigating the waters to Gardner.  As always, we appreciate your business and are happy to assist you with any internal hiring needs.

The Gardner Resources Group Team


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