A Partner’s Perspective on the Salary Survey 2020…Part 2

A Partner’s Perspective on the Salary Survey 2020…Part 2

Last week I took a closer look at the headline stats from the Salary Survey 2020 and gave a little insight into why we, in Barden, support this initiative. This week I’ll look more closely at ‘Perception v Reality’, ‘Challenges & Bouncing Back’, and ‘The Availability of Talent’.

Perception v Reality

However, we cannot underestimate the power and effect of COVID on the marketplace, and people’s perceptions of that challenge. Some key points to note include..

While only 14% of members have actually had any form of a pay cut, only 25% of members believe the market for Chartered Accountants is buoyant, down from a high of 85% in 2019.

Following on from that, 36% believe the market is actually contracting, up from just 5% in 2019.

This is a prime example of perception versus reality.

Challenges & Bouncing Back

All of the challenges we read about every day we open a paper, or every time we scroll through a website, we’re consuming and digesting the bad news stories. The stories of half a million people unemployed overnight, soaring unemployment rates.

Now, don’t get me wrong, these stats are horrifying in many ways. But the Chartered Accountants community does not reflect that number. And yes, mid-March until early May was extremely challenged, but that happens any time there’s uncertainly in the market.

And with the exception of those couple of months, once the Govt ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ was outlined, the market has been getting stronger and stronger.

In our opinion at Barden, the market for Chartered Accountants has bounced back to approximately 75/80% of pre-Covid levels, and getting busier each month.

Interestingly, over 91% of people were not in receipt of any type of subsidy payment, either directly, or through their employer. That means only 9% of chartered accountant employers had their revenue impacted by more than 30%.

That’s exceptionally low given everything we know about the number of people and businesses requiring these assistances.

The Availability of Talent

One other note of importance is around the availability of talent at the recently qualified level.

In previous years, a significant portion of these packed their bags and headed off to sunnier shores to work for a number of years. However, as a result of the inability to travel internationally, a significant percentage of these accountants have come onto the market at the same time.

As a result, there has been a small decline in base salaries being offered to this community of professionals- but the impact of this has not been seen in the survey yet.

As a hiring manager or HR Professional, now is a really great time to be considering pipelining future finance talent, as availability of this level of candidate is at a high not seen since 2010 or 2011.

To see the full results click here.

Tune in next week for a closer look at ‘Changing Where We Work’.

To view the first part of this series click the following link:

A Partner’s Perspective on the Salary Survey 2020…Part 1


About Elaine

Elaine Brady | Managing Partner | Barden Dublin

Following an undergrad in business in Trinity, Elaine joined the recruitment profession in 2004 and held a number of leadership roles with key recruitment firms before founding Barden in 2014. Elaine advises leadership teams across Leinster on their talent attraction and retention strategy and is a regular speaker at institute events.


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