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10 Ways to Attract and Keep Accounting Firm Talent

Morgan Hines
Posted by Morgan Hines on Jan 2, 2024 1:59:05 PM

For accounting firms, hiring and retaining talent remains competitive, and it's vital for success.

Yet, according to an American Psychological Association report, workplace stress costs the US $500 billion in lost productivity annually, and replacing a skilled professional now exceeds half their expected annual salary. Hidden expenses drive these replacement costs skyward.

On the other hand, hiring well and keeping skilled professionals generates financial and organizational stability within your accounting firm. It makes strong client relationships possible, driving firm success.

Let's unveil the mystery of how the best accounting firms are attracting and keeping the top talent you want in your firm.

Best Practices for Attracting and Keeping Accounting Firm Talent

1. Know Your Ideal Candidate

Is there anything worse than making a wrong hiring decision?

A bad fit is almost immediately apparent. You're trying to make it work for too long because you don't want to lose the time and money invested in the hire.

If you've recently lost someone, take a step back before hiring another seat warmer. Think about your ideal candidate. Look beyond accounting know-how to the tech and people skills someone will need to thrive in the current financial climate.

2. Establish a Strong Employer Brand

What makes working for your firm different from working for anyone else? Not sure? Then, it's time to invest in an employer brand. A robust employer brand is like glue. It's sticky for the right employees.

They're no longer just working for a salary. They're there because they like the culture and they feel like a part of something. Showcase the company's values, culture, and commitment to employee growth. Make being at your firm something special.

3. Offer Competitive Compensation Packages

Don't get us wrong—money matters. You can have a fantastic company culture, but without compensation, employees will still feel torn. 

  • Research industry salary benchmarks for accounting roles.
  • Structure comprehensive benefits and perks to attract top talent.
  • Find low-cost ways to sweeten the deal. 

But don't assume free coffee replaces a good paycheck.

4. Emphasize Professional Development Opportunities

Seek out courses, training programs, seminars, certification programs, and free fintech training opportunities for your team. Establish a cost-share program for those who are investing in themselves professionally, or let them take specific online training on company time.

If they apply what they learn, they'll strengthen your client relationships by getting better results. These are the kinds of people you want around.

5. Foster a Positive Work Environment

Create a collaborative and supportive work culture in which individuals meet client needs as a team. When employees feel supported, they take better care of clients, and they feel a sense of well-being that shows in their work.

Ensure your team has the tools and processes to succeed professionally. Put systems in place that measure and reward real productivity and quality of work, not how late people stay at the office. This promotes real work-life balance.

6. Implement Flexibility and Remote Work Options

Collaborative technologies and the right remote work policies give employees the flexibility and remote work options they crave—while making it more manageable for you.

This allows you to attract a broader talent pool, some who would otherwise be excluded simply because they live too far away.

7. Regularly Seek Employee Feedback

Implement regular feedback mechanisms to understand employee satisfaction. Build a culture where employees feel they can be candid—in a professional way.

Giving people a feedback channel reduces the cropping up of subversive, gossipy, and passive-aggressive behaviors that make your firm undesirable for existing employees and candidates. Your team will know you're addressing concerns and continuously improving the work environment. They will want to do the same.

8. Leverage Employee Referral Programs

You've been able to work with some great people during your career. People you would write a referral letter for in a heartbeat. Chances are your team has had the same experience.

Whether through LinkedIn networking, professional organizations, previous employment, or their alma mater, these connections can set new employees up for success and keep great talent invested in the firm.

Consider offering incentives for successful referrals to show you value the opinions and experiences of your people.

9. Use Technology to Keep the Firm Moving Forward

To attract and keep top talent, you must demonstrate that you're engaged in a modern accounting firm environment. You recognize the importance of leveraging technology to enhance productivity, collaboration, accuracy, security, and client services.

Business software tools can keep the firm connected with clients, each other, and a changing financial sector.

What do must-have business technologies for an accounting firm look like?

  • Digital signatures
  • Team inboxes
  • Social media
  • Secure file upload and client experience management
  • Scheduling automation
  • Online invoicing and payments

Don't Let Top Talent Slip Through the Cracks

Attracting and keeping skilled professionals is vital to the health of your accounting firm. The right business tools can create a positive and supportive environment where people want to work.

Topics: Human Resources


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