The small and mid-sized accounting firm recruiting advantage

It’s no secret the accounting industry is feeling pinched.  With Boomers retiring in great numbers, higher education focusing on STEM careers, and the younger generation viewing 60+ hour work weeks with disdain it’s no wonder the next generation of partners and principals are becoming harder and harder to find. 

The good news is the best candidates for future firm leadership are out there. Sure you’re competing with larger firms to attract them, but if you consider these three things when recruiting you will realize you have a great advantage over larger firms.

You’re nimble.  As a small to mid-sized firm you are nimble enough to make changes that will attract a hard-working, driven accountant such as flexible scheduling, process improvement, client experience, and career path. You are able to incorporate their ideas and their speed to information in a way that engages them early.  

Apprenticeship.   You have the opportunity to work closely with them to develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills in addition to the technical skills they need to become great consultants. As your apprentice, they will observe your client relations skills, business development style, and learn to make the connection between the clients and a successful firm. You’ll get them away from thinking like an employee and instead thinking like an owner.

B students.  Don’t look for the class valedictorians. You want to find the energetic B students that question why things are done a certain way and will look at things differently than you. Yes, differently. You will both learn and be better for it. These candidates are very capable of the technical aspect of the industry but they are also more likely to think creatively and have the ability to identify opportunities for clients and the firm. 

"Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity." -- Simone Weil, philosopher

Your challenge will be to genuinely consider each of their ideas and have patience with them as they learn.  When you do, your new employee knows you’re listening, you care about their career and you value what they’re trying to accomplish in the firm.  All things vital to developing the next leader committed to the growth of your firm.  

Christine Nietzke