Shortage of skilled workers, digitization and transformation pressure: Controllers remain experts who are looked for

Results of Robert Half Salary Summary 2020


New technologies, skills shortages and geopolitical changes will continue to have a massive impact on the job market in 2020. With this summary, the HR service provider Robert Half, Frankfurt am Main launches its comprehensive "Salary Summary 2020”. In addition to general trends, the report also deals with the areas of commercial, IT and finance and accounting. The most important conclusion for the controllers: In 2020 they are among the most sought-after financial experts.


For the employees, this is an encouraging idea, as they are still well-endowed with excellent chances of being able to put their personal preferences and needs into the balance when deciding on an employer. For companies, this means that they have to offer applicants much more than good pay. The desire of professionals for flexible work arrangements and good work-life balance has, according to Robert Half, steadily increased in recent years. However, only about 27% of German companies currently offer, for example, home office. Instead, many companies rely on programs for the maintenance of physical and mental health. "Practice shows, however: In the fight for talent, the companies that offer no flexible work or home office are no longer attractive for the majority of the candidates" says the salary study, because nearly half of the respondents would reject an offer, that does not offer flexible working hours or home office options. Small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular, lack flexibility for salary increases but are more open to this need of potential employees in terms of flexibility than larger companies. According to the study, flexible working hours and pension packages are very much in demand, especially among the millenials among the finance experts. After all, these focus on a work-life balance and sound future planning. But the company car is still in great demand. 27% of respondents from the financial sector would give up up to 10% salary for it.

The development of salaries with a focus on controlling was examined by, comparing the salary statements for 2018 and 2019 by Robert Half. Haufe’s conclusion: Especially career starters and controllers with initial experience can count on comparatively higher salaries. Among the newcomers in financial controlling, there is an increase of 5,750 euros to 65,000 euros gross annual salary. Junior controllers with initial experience will receive a year-on-year increase of 6,000 euros in 2020 with a gross annual salary of 48,000 euros. For senior professionals, however, according to hardly any significant salary increases. (Source: Haufe online)

The salary study, which relies on a nationwide average annual gross salary in Germany, divides salaries into four levels: new employees in the position (25 percentile), candidates with average experience (50 percentile), applicants with above-average qualifications (75 percentile) as well as candidates with extraordinary experience and expertise (95 percentile). The survey refers to the experience of the consultants of Robert Half and to several representative nationwide job market surveys, in which 200 CFOs, 201 CIOs, 301 human resources managers and 1,000 skilled workers were interviewed by an independent market research institute.

In addition to the expertise, social competence as well as strategic thinking, communication and resilience are becoming more and more the focus of the demands on the employees. Digitized and automated operations in finance and accounting have dramatically changed the roles there: working practices and processes are now even more collaborative, so strategic thinking, business acumen, and high emotional intelligence are becoming more important to CFOs. In any case, the desire for applicants who already have all their skills and experience is unrealistic. Rather, in addition to current skills, companies would have to explore the potential of an applicant and exploit it through training measures. Incidentally, according to the study, the experts expect the latter to be integrated into their daily work and thus part of their job.

In view of the explosive mix of tense job market situation and the necessity to drive the digital transformation, 68% of the CFOs bet additionally on temporary workers and interim managers. Experienced, but above all flexible, workers are in demand here.

Source: Robert Half. You can download the Salary Summary (German) after a short registration here.