Does it feel like it's getting harder to recruit great talent in your firm? It's not your imagination. Firms have struggled to find and retain qualified talent for years, but it seems to have reached a boiling point in 2021. In fact, according to CPA Practice Advisor, in the U.S., accounting and finance roles ranked fifth out of the top 10 jobs that are hardest to fill.
With that in mind, Boomer Consulting recently hosted a recruiters workshop to talk about what's changed in recruiting and provide tools and strategies to help firms attract and recruit the best talent. Nearly 60 human resources and talent professionals, firm administrators, CEOs, COOs, Partners and Directors attended the workshop.
Today, I'm sharing some of the key takeaways from that event.
The hybrid model of recruiting is here to stay
The pandemic may have introduced firms to virtual recruiting by necessity, these tools are now a critical part of their hiring strategy. In-person recruiting isn’t going away, but using virtual recruiting alongside in-person tactics can save the firm time and resources, help them reach a wider talent pool, reduce their carbon footprint and even drive diversity and inclusion.
There are three main types of hybrid recruiting:
Blended. Start with a virtual component before shifting into in-person recruiting. For example, you might have virtual campus recruiting events, followed by face-to-face interviews.
Composite. This has virtual and face-to-face recruiting in parallel, depending on the location or school. Consider which schools would be the best fit for virtual audiences.
Synchronous. This combines in-person and virtual recruiting for the same event. For example, you might have an on-campus recruiting event with a virtual element or option.
Some strategies to consider in your recruiting efforts include virtual career fairs and hiring events, text recruiting, virtual chats and video interviews. Ask yourself, "How can we …?" instead of thinking it can't work.
Most accounting firms are talking about the wrong things while on the recruiting trail. Essentially, they talk about themselves rather than the people they're recruiting. This shows up on their website, at recruiting events, in their social media, emails, and presentations, and it results in losing recruits, lack of peer sharing, confusion amongst recruits, losing talent to the competition and unnecessary spending.
People want to work at your firm only after reading or hearing words that make them want to work at your firm. If you make people feel like you know them, "get" them and will give them what they need, they want to work with you. They don't care about the history of your firm.
During the workshop, we walked participants through a brand script exercise based on Donald Miller's book, Building a Story Brand. The entire brand script process is beyond the scope of this article, but we do recommend checking out the story brand process — it applies to recruiting just as much as it does to marketing your firm's products and services.
The technology ecosystem for recruiting
If you're trying to find one solution that will handle everything you need to do for recruiting in your firm, stop; it doesn't exist. But it is possible to find ones that work together. During the workshop, we shared a list of the tools and software that our Boomer Talent Circle members use for things like employee engagement, performance management, CPE tracking, employee benefits, recruitment tracking, social interaction, data management, payroll, collaboration, and more. If you'd like a copy of the list, please reach out to us at email@example.com, and we'd be happy to send you a copy. This has been extremely valuable to our members to be able to see what other firms are using.
Recruiting is a challenge for CPA firms because the job today requires more than just skill with numbers. Couple this with tech-savvy candidates who demand flexibility, work/life balance, and generous compensation and the struggle is real. However, your firm can position itself to attract and retain qualified professionals by identifying and meeting their needs.
Do you need help with your firm's hiring and talent strategy?
Boomer Talent Consulting can help you get clarity on your firm's most critical talent objectives and create a go-forward strategy suited to your firm's unique needs. Schedule a discovery call today to begin implementing an organizational structure that is positioned and accelerating into the future.
Sandra Wiley, Shareholder, President of Boomer Consulting, Inc., is a leader in the accounting profession with a passion for helping firms grow, adapt and thrive. She is regularly recognized by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her expertise in leadership, management, collaboration, culture building, talent and training.
Sandra’s role at Boomer Consulting, Inc. includes serving as co-director of the P3 Leadership Academy as well as the Boomer Managing Partner Circle , the Boomer Talent Circle and the Boomer Learning & Development Circle. Her years of experience and influence as a management and strategic planning consultant make her a sought-after resource among the best and brightest firms in the country.