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October 2, 2023

These 10 Tips for Successful Accounting Firm Recruitment Aren’t Terrible At All

an illustration of men in suits to symbolize recruiting

Thomson Reuters put out a quick guide on recruiting accounting talent in current year based on responses gleaned from their 2023 State of the Tax Professionals Report and you know what it’s not bad. It’s a refreshing break from the articles that imply ESG is more important to young people than being able to pay rent. Nope, this one has it all — competitive salary, the first date size-up, flexible working arrangements, transparency in interviewing. Not bad, TR, not bad.

Without any further blathering on, here are ten things firms should prioritize in recruiting:

  1. Assess whether candidates are a good fit for your firm on both a professional and personal level
  2. Ensure the salary offered is genuinely competitive
  3. Offer flexible working arrangements
  4. Highlight your firm’s work environment and
  5. Have the patience to find top-quality candidates
  6. Offer attractive benefits and incentives
  7. Have a transparent interview process
  8. Offer learning and training opportunities
  9. Make use of recruiting agencies
  10. Advertise across multiple and diverse recruiting channels

So really that’s two compensation-related items (competitive salary and attractive benefits/incentives). Under item two they say:

Are you familiar with the market rate for the job role you’re trying to fulfill? Take the time to research the salaries of similar roles at other companies, as well as any comparable job descriptions, experience levels, and qualifications you are seeking. You may also want to look at the job market in your area to identify any regional differences in salaries for related positions.

Employers: this means if you want a CPA you better pay for it. Same goes for X years of experience. You might be able to save a few bucks if you offer a slightly less in salary but cap hours at 35, are fully remote, have an excellent health plan, and subsidize doggy day care/gym memberships/XBoxes/whatever. You don’t get to pay people less and expect them to grind out 60 hours a week, in office, with nothing but free K-pods and a company-provided wrist rest. Do better.

Item six elaborates on this point:

On top of the usual benefits like competitive salaries, paid time off, and flexible work arrangements, you can also appeal to candidates by offering:

  • Comprehensive health and dental plans
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Retirement plans
  • Gym memberships
  • Career development opportunities

Your firm can also offer additional incentives such as bonuses for exceptional performance and other rewards based on the length of their employment.

It really is that simple.

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1 Comment

  1. Paying employees more = charging clients more, not owners earning less.

    Owners worked very long hours at mediocre pay for 20+ years in pursuit of a pay out. It’s not realistic to expect they would give up the reward for that sacrifice — not how most humans are wired.

    Owners, when you charge more, PAY YOUR PEOPLE MORE… your ability to reap the rewards of your hard work depends on it.

    Until the industry starts walking away from low margin work, none of these problems will be solved. We’re just in a race to the bottom.

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