As many Practice Hiring Managers and HR / Recruitment co-ordinators will appreciate, it is a challenge attracting candidates already in the Accountancy Practice profession, to join their firm.
This problem existed long before my time in recruitment but can feel like even more of a challenge in the current climate.
The issues ‘Practice specific’ recruiters, like myself and the hiring team, face is the industry dream, which is deemed to be the normal route to take. To clarify, many candidates move from a general practice like Ashcroft into a company’s internal finance function when they qualify, as it supposedly offers more money and variety. In reality, this is very often not the case, especially when it comes to progression.
In fact, several candidates I have worked with over the years, who have moved into industry, have actually moved back into practice, as they miss the variety of clients that they work with, and that no day is the same. This partnered with a diverse role, which some of the medium sized firms can offer, is becoming more and more sought after.
I am seeing the main things candidates are now looking for in their next role is very much about cultural fit, some flexibility, variety, and progression – which can absolutely be offered in a practice.
Of equal importance to candidates is the journey they go on. As there are always more jobs than candidates, the “candidate experience” is an important one – candidates want to feel valued, but not like “raw commodity” in great demand. The style, tone and underpinning values of the company will be at the forefront of a candidate’s mind when they are choosing between firms.
Working with a reputable, practice specific recruiter, who understands that a personal and tailormade approach should be shown, can ensure the candidate actually enjoys the experience, whilst still feeling like a person rather than a high value resource.