Besides having a shortage of candidates, the accounting and advisory industry has a brand perception issue. Candidates want to avoid long hours or that uneasy feeling of being a cog in a big machine – they are conditioned since college to believe that accounting is all about the technical output and the billable hours.
Are you reinforcing that perception?
Turn it around, change the conversation and find your best hires for life. There are seven habits of an effective employer brand, and we address the hurdles to overcome and successes you can share along the way.
- Start from within – Keep your current team happy and fulfilled by catering food, hosting games, celebrating employee successes (professional and personal), and inviting more conversations about employee goals and interests. They will talk about your great culture to their friends and colleagues.
- Get internal feedback – Conduct an employee survey, and ask them how they feel about working there and how they feel about the firm’s reputation. Invite and reward them for leaving an honest review on your Glassdoor and Indeed pages. Get feedback to improve your candidate referral program.
- Reshape your employer brand – Use employee feedback to update your logo, your messaging and your story throughout the website, on recruitment sites, job boards, internship program brochures, campus table tents and on internal flyers, too. Create employee videos with real stories of what it’s like to be an accountant and advisor today. Emphasize through employee stories how you make a difference to clients and your community. Don’t tell it. Show it.
- Start young – Show off your brand at middle school and high school career events. Invite field trips, job shadowing and internship applications. Plus, emphasize that non-CPAs are part of the future of your firm, expanding career possibilities. Generate an interest in your profession earlier, and you will change the perceptions of a generation.
- Create a scholarship – Make connections with interest Dollars for Scholars affiliate to create a named scholarship.
- Make recruiting your top priority – Define the perfect candidate, respond to applications hourly if you can and set up interviews within 1-3 days so the best ones don’t get away. If you find a great candidate who wants to start immediately – then you know that your approach is working.
- Create a confidence-building onboarding process – Complete the recruitment circle. Make sure that new hires feel welcome and have access to all the tools they need to succeed. Build their confidence on day one with a mentor or go-to team member. Schedule a professional goal meeting as soon as possible. Get them thinking about the future with your firm.
If you need help:
What do these habits look like in real life for recruiting and retention? Read this case study from a BKR member.