Attracting and hiring new team members can seem difficult for a smaller accounting practice — especially when you’re competing with bigger accountancy firms. If that’s the case for your business, this article will show you how being a smaller accounting firm can actually work to your advantage in recruiting the right candidates and team members. (Because it’s all about fit!)
Start by making your firm the place to work
We spend so much time focusing on making our firms attractive to clients that we sometimes forget the importance of attracting new team members. Therefore, it’s important that accounting practice firms:
- Promote themselves effectively, advertising their unique strengths.
- Have a clear vision and purpose to attract like-minded employees.
- Focus on creating a positive workplace environment. Employees that enjoy their workplace produce better results and stay in their roles for longer.
Having a great ethos and a clear ‘why’ can really help attract new employees to your accounting practice, but the promise of an exciting workplace will really seal the deal. With just a few small changes, you can create an entirely new atmosphere for your employees — one that excites and inspires them.
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Attracting and hiring the right team members starts with some key action items
By creating such an enjoyable workplace environment, you’re guaranteed to attract plenty of prospective employees. But the question is, how do you make sure you’re attracting the right ones? With the help of these simple methods, you can be sure that you’re attracting the best potential accountancy employees to your firm:
1. Develop a strong local profile
Successful firms know the importance of brand awareness — especially when it comes to attracting new employees. You can raise your brand awareness by entering into local accountancy awards, placing practice job adverts in local newsletters, being active on social media sites, and even (if this is your thing) driving a company-branded car that advertises that you’re hiring.
2. Be proactive with recruitment
By getting ahead with your recruitment, you can have several promising prospects lined up and ready to go when you do hire.
You can do this by promoting the careers section of your website, connecting with prospective employees on LinkedIn, hiring a recruitment agency* and even building relationships with local training colleges. Offering study support and extending internships and work experience to local schools and colleges can also open up a range of prospective candidates.
It’s also important to be proactive throughout the entire recruiting/hiring process, not just in posting a role.
- Reply to applications in a timely fashion.
- Don’t procrastinate in booking interviews with stellar candidates.
- If you find that amazing candidate, be prepared to make an offer via your recruitment agency, or direct to them, stat.
- Remember that the employee onboarding experience is equally, if not the most important part of the entire process.
3. Introduce flexible working
Introducing a hybrid-working model or flexible working hours is a great way to motivate staff and encourage company loyalty. Without the rigidity of traditional working hours, you’re able to offer your employees early starts, later finishes and even remote working opportunities to suit their lifestyle. Not only does this motivate current employees, but it also attracts prospective candidates as most larger firms are unable to match this level of flexibility.
4. Be authentic and adaptable
In order for your team to match your vision for growth and dedication, you need to make their workplace as functional and motivating as possible.
The ideal office might look different to different people, so try and be as adaptable as possible. Some staff members may be more productive when listening to music, while others may prefer standing at a desk rather than sitting. Whatever it may be, making sure your staff are in their most productive environment ensures higher overall performances across the firm.
5. Personalise your staff perks
We all know the significance of staff perks and work-related incentives — but how can you use these motivators to make your firm stand out?
Aside from study support — which shows investment and care for progression — take some time to find out what motivates your team and tailor your staff perks to them. This could be anything from a morning yoga class to allowing them to bring their dog to work. Whatever the perk, by tailoring it to your team, you’re showing your employees you value them personally.
Not only will the above increase employee retention, but it will also attract new candidates as this is something the larger firms cannot offer.
Allow your team to thrive
Great employees are attracted to successful firms with a clear vision and purpose — particularly ones that can offer them a significant role in helping the firm's growth and success. With just a few minor changes, you can make your small accountancy firm an exciting and attractive place to work. Once you’ve done that, you can then use these five steps to attract the right candidates and ensure you’re getting the most from your existing team.
Take full advantage of the flexibility your small accounting firm has to offer! If you do, you can keep your staff happy and improve their performance, allowing both your team and your firm to thrive.
*A shameless plug, but it’s what we’re here for: to help you find the right candidates so you don’t have to. Find out more about our practice recruiting process here, or pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you hire your next team member!
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