What a candidate-driven market means for Internal Auditors in the UK
The past two to three years has seen a shift in jobseekers’ priorities. High salary positions with top tier companies are no longer enough – jobseekers are now taking a more holistic approach to job hunting; considering factors such as career progression, company ethics and work-life balance as far more important evaluation tools than they have done in the past. Our recent survey revisited workplace ethics and highlighted an increased number of workplaces towing the ethical line and professionals are no longer accepting it as common practice. This candidate-driven market means recruitment can no longer operate as a one-way transaction. What companies offer candidates matters.
Flexible work alone is a considerable drawcard for candidates. 70% of workers feel that offering flexible working makes a job more attractive to them whilst 30% would choose flexible working over a pay rise if they could only choose one. Healthcare and career development incentives are also rated highly by jobseekers.
The current uncertainty of Brexit further empowers the UK candidate pool as international jobseekers overlook UK opportunities. This is especially true for those within IT Audit or the technology field as the job deficit makes companies desperate for talent. In Deloitte’s recent IN Trends survey, a respondent noted “…it is increasingly difficult to find and retain people that combine optimally technology and business audit skillsets, with the right interpersonal and softer skills to continue to drive together business and IT audit for truly integrated approaches that add value”.
Combining this skills shortage with the now candidate-driven market creates an exciting opportunity for Internal Auditors. Those qualified and skilled can easily find an abundance of promising career opportunities, whilst others looking to enter the field or upskill can easily find positions with reputable companies after education. Vacancies are particularly high at senior levels as many top 20 firms lose considerable numbers at this level and struggle refill and retain senior internal auditors.
Despite this power shift, the function of internal audit remains stretched as internal auditors are expected to deliver “more with less”. Internal Auditors need to be quick to adapt to the rapidly evolving business environment – from emerging technologies to global regulatory changes.
Yet businesses are starting to realise that when coupled with management, Internal Audit provides invaluable operational expertise and knowledge. As a result, higher salaries are being offered to top candidates in the hope to retain such talent.
In terms of qualifications, obtaining an Internal Audit role still requires a bachelor’s degree in accounting, however according to Robert Half and The Institute of Internal Auditors, seven soft skills are also essential for Internal Auditor’s wanting to gain a professional edge. They list integrity, relationship building, partnering, communication, teamwork, diversity and continuous learning as the top seven attributes of highly effective Internal Auditors.
With this heightened demand, never has there been a better time to explore career opportunities in Audit. Whether that means upskilling or just starting out in audit, the candidate driven market gives jobseekers power and opportunity.