Internal Audit Market Outlook – Q1 & Q2 2021

The market for internal auditors continues to be hot going into the first half of 2021. As economic concerns and COVID uncertainties decrease, we anticipate that the demand for strong talent will only increase as companies loosen purse strings and job seekers decide to start looking again. With this said, employers must start to come to grips with the “new normal” operating model and adapt to the growing interest in “remote work only” arrangements from candidates as the era of relocation and business travel enters into a new phase. For candidates, it continues to be a “seller’s market.” To be successful, companies should actively nurture a pipeline of quality talent as the long-term need is going going to increase.

Market Drivers – Employer Demand

  • Hiring is picking up pace across the board. Open roles for internal auditors popping up across the country
  • The talent wars are being fought in the middle. The most competition is for senior independent contributor and/or manager level talent.
  • All disciplines of audit are red hot. From IT Audit, SOX, Operational, Compliance…auditors of all types are in very high demand.
  • Slower time to fill. Most open audit roles take a bit longer to fill than other roles. This is a combination of market competition for top tier talent, candidates who are still reluctant to make a move in the current environment, and seasonal workloads.

Candidate Pool – Supply

  • Candidate driven market. Strong candidates are in high demand and are fielding multiple offers.
  • Remote work is the new normal. Candidates are want to maintain their remote work lifestyles and are far more hesitant to head back to the office or relocate just yet.
  • Compensation is rising. Companies that are serious about hiring are increasing the compensation ranges for all levels of auditors in order to attract talent.
  • Career progress is key. Candidates are far more concerned about long term career progression when considering new opportunities, the companies who are able to show a compelling path are winning the talent battles.

Quarterly Outlook – The Bottom Line

  • The third line of defense is a “must-have”. Companies that are publicly traded or in highly regulated industries will always have a need for audit talent – this is not going away. It is widely anticipated that the new administration will be more compliance-focused and this will only serve to elevate the need.
  • Macro uncertainties are subsiding. As the economic and pandemic environment stablizes, the demand for talent in all of these sectors will increase.

For more information on how to build grow your audit team or take that next step in your career, please contact us at