Hiring Tips for Accounting Firms

Carl Coe

How do you attract the top talent as part of your accounting firm growth strategy? Does your accounting firm stand out from the other possible places that a bright new accounting employee can land? Do you offer impressive benefits which extend beyond monetary compensation?

The modern employee has a different set of must-haves when it comes to accepting a position at an accounting firm. These days, you can’t lure an employee with the old-school promise of a long-term career with an established firm. Many job hunters aren’t concerned as much with job security as they are with other things, such as work-life balance, ongoing training and mentorship, and the opportunity to progress into different positions beyond what they were initially hired to do.

In recent years, we’ve also experienced an unprecedented economic trend known as “the Great  Resignation.”

The Great Resignation is a term coined by Anthony Klotz. It describes how American workers are quitting their jobs at a staggering rate. The Great Resignation began in 2021. Many think this economic phenomenon was a reaction to the pandemic. During this period, many workers – especially those whose jobs were eliminated or greatly limited – had the time and incentive to reflect on how they spent their days. Many employees considered whether their jobs were actually fulfilling or if they needed to switch positions. Many decided to leave their jobs during the pandemic.

As a result, we are now in the aftermath of the Great Resignation. While there are still plenty of people looking for employment, these workers have a different set of priorities and will not settle for traditional carrots like money and job security any longer.

If you want to attract the best talent these days, you must present the best package. Click To Tweet

In this guide, we’ll share tips on how to recruit top talent to your accounting firm.

Recruiting Tips for Accounting Firms

Make the Workplace Attractive

Whether you’re working in person or remotely, your workplace needs to be attractive to potential workers. No one wants to work at a place that feels run down or with a team whose morale is in the dumps. A potential new employee can automatically sense when a team is stressed out,  overworked, and underappreciated. Before hiring a new person to your accounting firm, make sure that you provide a great environment for everyone on your team. It will show.

Anonymously survey your employees to find out what they like about working at your firm and what they would change. Then, make those changes as soon as possible.

Remember that it’s never too late to put your employees first.

Create A Winning Benefits Package

To attract the best, you’ve got to offer an enticing employee benefits package. This should include a better than average salary, but that’s not the only thing to consider when building your benefits package. Consider offering extras, such as the option to work on a flexible schedule, a monthly gym stipend, and a generous vacation policy. These extras can tip the odds in your favor if a candidate is debating between you and your competitor.

Consider Adopting a Modern Work Arrangement

Do you demand your employees work only in-office? Now that many office employees have gotten an opportunity to experience the freedom of working remotely, many don’t want to go back to working in the office all the time.

Remote work is an important benefit that you can offer to stand out from other firms. Even if you don’t go 100% remote, giving new hires the option to choose is a huge benefit.

The hybrid or remote-only work arrangement offers huge benefits to an organization, not just to your employees. Studies have proven that workers are more efficient and productive when working remotely. And if you remove location dependency from your list of job requirements, you are able to open the door to a wider pool of talent. Even better, if you’re hiring a CPA, many states have mobility laws that allow a CPA to work across states.

Offer Flexibility

Are you still forcing your employees to work an 8-hour day? As mentioned above, one of the benefits of working remotely is increased efficiency and productivity. In other words, employees don’t have to input eight hours each day to output a desired result. Instead they can input three hours one day and six hours the next and still be productive. Instead of forcing employees to work a specific set of hours, give them the flexibility and autonomy to choose when they work as long as they’re available for necessary meetings.

Work flexibility is a great benefit to call out to your potential employees. It’s also one perk that very few accounting firms offer and will help set you apart from the other potential jobs the candidate may be considering.

Recruiting Tips for Accounting Firms

Write a Winning Job Description

To attract top talent, pen a clear and concise job description that describes what you’re looking for and what a candidate can expect if they are hired.

Remember that your job description is a mixture of wants and must-haves. A candidate may not check off all of the items on your list but could still be the right person for the job. Use your description as a guideline but not a rigid list of all-or-nothing requirements.

In your description, consider both hard and soft skills. While you may be looking for someone with a specific set of accounting skills, don’t overlook soft skills, such as the ability to communicate effectively or collaborate with a team. Adding these traits to your description can help you find candidates who possess skills that can round out your team’s needs.

Your job description will help potential employees decide whether your job is the right fit for them. Be descriptive but not exclusionary.

Look For New Hires in the Right Places

It’s not enough to add a “now hiring” badge to your website. You must actively go out and seek candidates, and one of the best places to scout talent is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the top professional social media platform. It’s not just for networking – it’s also a great place to recruit new hires. In fact, many professionals don’t even waste their time with job sites. Instead, they use LinkedIn to see who’s hiring. Job hunters also used LinkedIn to make connections with hiring managers directly on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn cuts out a lot of the noise, allows you to post a job opportunity, review the candidates who have expressed interest in the job, and reach out directly to those candidates without a lot of the back and forth via email. You can start building a relationship immediately through Linkedin. Don’t overlook this platform as an excellent spot for meeting potential hires.

In addition to LinkedIn, you can also scout new talent in other spots, such as college career days, job fairs, industry conferences, and professional networking events.

Streamline Your Hiring Process

Create a hiring process that you can repeat for all of your new hires. An efficient hiring process matters because your candidate is interviewing you, too. And just like you, they also have other options available that they may be interviewing at the same time. The last thing you want to do is drag your feet with a great candidate because you have an inefficient hiring process. You could easily lose this great candidate to another accounting firm simply because you didn’t close the deal in time.

To streamline your hiring process, set a timeline for when you first reach out to the candidate and when you decide to make the offer. This timeline should be set in stone to keep the process moving forward.

Additionally, decide who and how many people will be involved in the interview process. Also, keep in mind that you owe it to yourself and to the candidate to make the hiring process speedy and efficient. Don’t waste their time or your time by rescheduling or extending the process for vacations, if you can help it.

Ask the same set of questions for every interview. This way, you and your team will be able to give a fair assessment when comparing candidates.

Finally, be sure to coordinate with the other interviewers what questions you’ll ask during the interview process. This reduces the risk of asking the candidate the same questions over and over again. Not only will that be frustrating to the candidate, it’s also an inefficient use of your interview time.

Weed Out the Wrong People

It’s important to weed out the wrong people early in your hiring process.

An impressive resume may not always point to the right candidate. This is why you need to also conduct a quick phone or video interview early on to see if the candidate may be the right fit for your accounting firm and the culture you’ve already created. After you’ve done a few interviews, it will be easy to spot whether someone is going to fit in with the rest of your team or whether they are going to fall flat.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to replace a departing team member or hire a new person to fit the needs of your accounting practice, who you hire will make a huge impact on your ability to become a successful accounting firm. Use the above tips to attract not only the top talent, but the right talent that will fit in with the rest of your team.

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