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2024 And The Finance Function

An Overview of 2024 so far:

A visible sense of optimism is gradually coming back to the recruitment market, particularly within the finance function. Drawing upon recent results collected from our “Outlook 2024” survey, where we engaged with 200 c-suite recruitment leaders, a clearer understanding of the industry’s 2024 trends has begun to emerge.

Among the results, 66% of those who took part were senior finance professionals, with the remaining responses being made up of CEOs/MDs and other business leaders. From the results, the overall sentiment regarding the initial months of this year, can be seen as cautiously optimistic, on track with, or just below budget expectations.

Conversations with finance leaders further support this sentiment, indicating that the first two quarters have served as pivotal re-building phase for their businesses by recruiting only essential hires thus compensating for the unanticipated setbacks experienced during the challenging economy and overall market in 2023. As confidence grows, evident trends signal a hopeful rise in hiring activities, and buoyancy across the market set out for H2 this year.

Outlook 2024

Finance Hiring Trends:

Shift in Role Demand: Since the start of 2024, there has been a noticeable increase in roles within the transactional finance function. Positions such as Credit Control, Pay&Bill Administrators/Managers, Payroll Administrators, and AP/AR Assistants are emerging as the most sought-after hires within recruitment businesses. The need for transactional based finance hires positively reflects the overall market picking back up and more so, reflects on contractor books beginning to grow once more. As well as this, during the market downturn many senior finance professionals were recruited when income was low to try improve processes and decrease the overall spend whereas, transactional hires are being made now to maximise on income brought into the business.

2023 finance hire trends: Comparing 2024 to 2023, there has been a shift in hiring needs, where a predominant focus was on recruiting finance professions from at the Management Accountant level right through to c-suite level. The current shift towards transactional roles highlights a switch in priorities within the finance function, driven by evolving market dynamics and more senior candidates not being as open to moving on from their current roles.

Senior Candidate Retention: Despite the change in the market, with many senior finance professionals I have spoken with, there is a notable reluctance among them to actively pursue new opportunities. From discussions, the reasons behind this are working in conjunction with market uncertainties, which are leading senior professionals to exercise caution, as well as wanting to assist and play their part in the regrowth of the business. This contrasts with 2023 where a higher volume of senior candidates moved on from their roles in 2023, because they had more money tied up in equity/shares when the market was strong in 2021, and with the dip in market in 2023 and exits being pushed back, many senior finance professionals sought out higher base salaries/bonuses for more immediate gratification.


To conclude, as we continue into 2024 and as we are learning more about the market, the finance function and recruitment as a whole has begun to show signs of green shoots and optimism throughout. We predict to see hiring needs continue to increase in H2 of 2024 and a growth for businesses throughout the sector. The resilience shown by these businesses and the willingness to ‘think outside of the box’ as we navigate through and adapt to the new market in which we operate highlights a collective commitment amongst businesses to keep building and capitalising on emerging opportunities in the ever-evolving recruitment space.

Keep a look out for my next blog: Outsourced vs Inhoused Finance Function