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New prospects for finance and accounting talent in Berlin

06.03.2024 – A new picture is emerging in Berlin's Finance & Accounting environment in 2024, characterised by a pronounced candidate market, significant waves of layoffs and strategic realignments across industries. Christian Meyer, Director of Robert Walters in Berlin, gives us insights into the prevailing trends and movements shaping the market.

Berlin's finance market is proving to be a challenging candidate paradise

As Director for the Berlin office at Robert Walters, Christian Meyer maintains contact with HR decision-makers as well as specialists and managers. This regular exchange enables him to gain insights into the changes in the labour market. Meyer emphasises the following trends:

1. Applicant market and downsizing

Meyer explains that the finance & accounting sector in Berlin currently presents itself as an applicant market that extends across all sectors. This constellation creates extensive opportunities for qualified applicants. Berlin, as Germany's start-up and redundancy capital, leads the statistics with 42 tech companies and start-ups that have cut jobs since the beginning of 2022. Meyer emphasises: "Start-ups are increasingly reluctant to hire new employees. This development shows the importance for specialists and managers to follow market trends and plan strategically."

2. Industry shifts and M&A boom

Over the last year, 4 % of finance professionals have moved away from the property market and into sectors such as manufacturing, e-commerce and digital companies. At the same time, the hospitality and catering industries are seeing a noticeable recovery after the pandemic, with 8 % growth in catering and 20% in hospitality. Both sectors are working hard to win back former employees by offering more attractive salary structures. These efforts are aimed at overcoming the operational challenges caused by Covid-19 and attracting experienced workers back to the sector.

In the area of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), Meyer points to a significant increase in demand for executives with in-depth experience and specialised knowledge. The importance of M&A knowledge is also confirmed by data from a LinkedIn search, which shows that the number of specialists and managers with knowledge in this area has increased by 15 % compared to the previous year. Companies that want to accelerate their growth strategies through M&A activities or rethink their market positioning are attaching increasing importance to such expertise.

Recommendations for companies

Authenticity and speed in the recruitment process

In the current competitive situation, Meyer recommends that companies distinguish themselves through authenticity and speed up the application process. "A clear and honest company image is crucial to avoid bad appointments," he emphasises. "Companies should offer an optimised applicant experience, provide quick feedback and clearly show appreciation to applicants."

Flexibility and social benefits

54 % of finance talents particularly value the opportunity to organise their work location and working hours flexibly. 48 % of them would like the company to support their work-life balance. However, 69 % of talents attach the greatest importance to appropriate remuneration and attractive benefits. In order to increase their appeal to skilled workers, companies are therefore focusing on competitive salaries in addition to improved social benefits such as bicycle leasing and the option to work from home.

International talent and market attractiveness

According to Meyer, Berlin is increasingly becoming a magnet for international talent, with companies providing targeted support for candidates from the USA, France and India, for example by offering language and training courses. "This approach has already enabled many start-ups to build their growth on a stable foundation," explains Meyer. "By investing in attracting, integrating and training international specialists, SMEs and industrial companies can benefit from the diversity and fresh perspectives that these professionals bring with them. This can not only contribute to innovation and competitiveness, but also to effectively counteracting the shortage of skilled labour and ensuring sustainable growth," he adds.

Recommendations for applicants

Careful selection and authenticity

It is equally important for applicants to remain authentic and to scrutinise company offers carefully. Meyer advises against fragmenting your CV by changing jobs too often or making hasty decisions. "It's better to have one more interview to develop a good gut feeling," he explains. The overall package of offers should be carefully evaluated to make the best decision for your career.

Skills in demand

Demand for accountants continues to rise, especially for those with knowledge of international accounting and consolidation. Meyer recommends that applicants enhance their skills, for example with English certificates and M&A experience, to increase their prospects.



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Find out more by contacting one of our specialist recruitment consultants

Christian Meyer

Director Berlin

Phone: +49 30 767 5889 81

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