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Robert Half Predicts Danger

Accounting and Finance Industry Faces Skills Shortages Unless It Can Attract New Talent, New Report Finds

A new report released today by specialist finance and accounting recruitment firm Robert Half predicts that the finance industry is in danger of facing a skills shortage over the next five years if it does not continue to attract and retain the next generation of accountants, or Generation Y.

The report, entitled Preparing For the UKs Recruitment Needs: The Next Five Years also found that the continuing encroachment of regulation is threatening future skills as new entrants become too specialised early in their careers and miss out on the broader experience that they would traditionally receive on entering the industry.

Phil Sheridan, UK Managing Director of Robert Half, said: As the impact of the global economic crisis continues, the profession must look beyond the downturn and continue to focus on attracting and retaining the next wave of finance and accounting professionals. Both employer and employee are facing a new set of challenges, with the industry needing to work hard to rebrand itself in order to become more attractive to todays young people, and new entrants needing to stand out from the crowd.

For employers looking to recruit Generation Y - the term used for those born after the year 1980 - the report found that these new entrants have a different set of values to previous generations. For example, companies are finding that they need to sell their company to new recruits who have high expectations about their employers internal working cultures and corporate responsibility policies.

In addition, the report found that the Generation Y recruit would be far less likely to remain in a job or even profession for their whole career, but would be looking for the flexibility to move between jobs and job functions. However, the report did also highlight the ability of Generation Y to bring skills to business, particularly on the technology and creativity side.

Sheridan continued: Every new working generation is shaped by the social, technological and economic environment of the day, and Generation Y is no different. In an era where communication and technology is at the forefront, employers need to embrace this group in order to meet the business challenges of the future.

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