How do accounting firms recruit and keep the best people?
Every accounting firm I have ever worked with would like to hire a superstar or two (or more).
I’ve lost count of the number of firms that see a transformation of results when one or two high-quality people join the team.
Similarly, I’ve seen the grief, stress and lost profits that follow hiring the wrong people.
The only conclusion I can reach therefore, is that of all the marketing jobs accounting firms have to do, appealing to and recruiting high-quality people is a top priority. 2nd only to the retention of the high-quality people you already have working with you.
Rather than dwell on the marketing aspect of recruitment, job one is create a working environment that works for your existing people and therefore also appeals to your new people too. This will make you and your firm more attractive. Only when you’re more attractive should you then look at better marketing.
Make your firm more attractive...
A large study by PWC proves that one big issue for employees (and therefore for new recruits) makes a big difference to your firm’s attractiveness to employees:
“...almost half (46%) of 2000 respondents said flexible working hours and a good work-life balance were the most important factors when choosing a job”
Laura Hinton, chief people officer at PwC, said:
“People assume that to work at a big firm they need to follow traditional working patterns – we want to make it clear that this isn’t the case. In order to recruit the best people, we recognise that we need to offer greater flexibility, different working options and a route back in for those looking to restart their careers.”
In this Accountancy Age article there’s a valuable story about a 100 day contract working for one employee. The story sign-posts the type of flexibility that is possible.
And then look long and hard at how you can restructure your firm’s working hours, days, months to make your firm more appealing to both your existing team and new employees.
It works for us...
At Remarkable Practice we have mostly working mums in our team and they have school term working hours and non-term working hours to suit their individual circumstances. One of our team repeatedly says how she’s now unemployable anywhere else because of the flexibility she has working with us!
As Jim Collins advocates in his brilliant research study and book ‘Good to Great’, genuinely ‘great’ businesses “get the right people on the bus”. Better make your bus appealing enough to attract the right people don’t you think? Flexible working should be a pillar of your recruiting plans.
NB The team at Remarkable Practice continue to help accountancy firms improve their recruitment processes and team retention processes. If you’d like some guidance on this mission-critical aspect of running your firm why not book a call to talk this through? Start by getting in touch here
Wishing you every success