Benchmark Search Hiring Insights – May 2024

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, offering an important opportunity to prioritize employee well-being and enhance your benefits package. In this newsletter, we’ll discuss ways to support mental health initiatives within your organization.

You’ll also find insights into the SECURE 2.0 Retirement Savings Act and how it might offer a competitive edge to your benefits offerings. The latest job market data reveals a fascinating trend: healthcare is experiencing a significant hiring surge, driving a large portion of overall job gains in April.

April Jobs Report Highlights

April Jobs Report: Hiring Slows, But Opportunities Still Abound

The latest jobs numbers are out, and while hiring has cooled slightly compared to March, there’s still plenty of action in the labor market.

Key Insights:

  • 175K jobs added in April
  • Unemployment rate ticks up to 3.9%
  • Healthcare (+56K), Transportation & Warehousing (+22K), and Retail Trade (+20K) lead the hiring charge

The job market remains strong, but the pace may be easing slightly. Businesses, this emphasizes the need to attract talent with competitive offers and a focus on employee experience. Job seekers, keep networking and sharpening those in-demand skills!


Managing Director

  • CPA, Big4 public combo
  • 20+ years of experience in the investment management industry in Fund Accounting
  • Built and lead teams of more than 20, heavily involved in client deliverables and business development

 Tax Manager

  • CPA
  • Big4 Tax Manager with EY
  • 5 busy seasons working on Partnerships
  • Main clients are private equity and oil and

 AR Supervisor

  • Accounting Degree
  • 10 years of combined experience in cash, AR and AP
  • Advanced excel user, experience with SAP, and other large ERP
  • Management experience management experience

 Audit Senior

  • 8 year Senior Auditor
  • Experience with both SOX and Operational Audits

 Tax Senior

  • Big4 Tax Senior with KPMG
  • Main clients are Private Equity in the partnership space

How to Honor Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is a big deal to your employees. Whether your organization makes it a priority can make a big difference in how you’re perceived as an employer.

Aside from the table stakes— offering decent healthcare benefits that include mental health coverage, I have a few ideas to share:

●Establish peer support programs for people who have lived experience with mental health challenges

●Sponsors community wellness event or a “lunch and learn” with a mental health theme

●Create a mental health resource corner for your employees

●Setup a gratitude wall!

●Carveout “stress-free zones” at your office where people can come for quiet contemplation and relaxation

“My kid has one of those at their preschool.”

Yes, and it works, doesn’t it? I’d love to hear other ideas you have to celebrate mental health month. How does your company do it?

Secure 2.0 Retirement Savings Act

If you’re hiring young workers fresh out of school, listen up, because the SECURE 2.0 Retirement Savings Act is rolling out, and it gives you an opportunity, as an employer, to invest in your employees’ financial well-being.

The short story: As long as employees are making payments on their student loans, employers now have the option to match those student loan payments with 401K contributions. In this way, your younger employees can start planning for retirement along with paying off their loans, and this is a very enticing benefit in a time when Black Rock CEO Larry Fink has pronounced a “retirement crisis” in this country.

In general, benefits are key when candidates are weighing which role to take. We always have an opportunity to discuss offer packages with job seekers, so I know just how much these things really do matter. Read more, and consider taking advantage of SECURE 2.0 as a part of the benefits package you offer.

Healthcare Growth Dominates

Healthcare’s hiring surge continued in April, accounting for a significant portion of overall job gains. However, this trend masks a slowdown in other sectors, particularly in ‘white collar’ industries like information, professional and business services, and finance. This evolving landscape poses some interesting questions for Benchmark Search’s clients.

For clients within the healthcare sector, the robust growth indicates ample opportunities to attract top talent.

To zero in on these opportunities, consider which specific areas of healthcare (e.g., hospitals, biotech) are driving the growth and what specific accounting and finance skills are in high demand within those niches. On the other hand, clients outside of healthcare may face increasing competition when seeking skilled accounting and finance professionals.

Understanding the reasons behind the ‘white collar’ slowdown, whether it’s due to interest rate hikes, economic uncertainty, or shifting business priorities, is crucial for adjusting hiring expectations.

Benchmark Search is committed to helping clients navigate this evolving job market.

By analyzing regional data, staying up-to-date on industry trends, and recognizing the specific skill sets in demand, we can partner with you to develop effective recruiting strategies regardless of the current economic climate.

Meet Josh Agren: Whitley Penn’s Audit Partner and Healthcare Industry Leader

Whitley Penn, a respected accounting firm, boasts a team of seasoned consultants. One such individual is Josh Agren, an esteemed audit partner with a track record of success in guiding clients through complex accounting and auditing matters.

Josh is a dynamic leader, with a strong focus on healthcare, consulting, and employee benefit plans, Josh brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his clients.

His role as Audit co-lead for Whitley Penn’s Healthcare industry group demonstrates his thought leadership and commitment to shaping best practices within the healthcare sector.

Josh Agren possesses a deep understanding of complex transactions and related accounting matters.

Organizations working with Josh can trust him to ensure they’re adhering to the highest industry standards

How to Connect with Josh

Josh  |  Whitley Penn  |  Healthcare