5 strategies for staff recruitment and retention
5 strategies for staff recruitment and retention Vertical

5 strategies for staff recruitment and retention

Read the Article

What do rare diamonds, vintage wine, and accounting talent have in common? They’re all experiencing shortages in today’s competitive landscape.

Just as preserving rare gems and aged vintages demand strategic effort, so does cultivating skilled accounting talent. According to a study conducted by Korn Ferry Institute, the United States could face a talent shortage of up to 6.5 million people by 2030, with the financial and business services sector being the most impacted. As the demand for financial expertise surges, the supply of qualified accountants just isn’t keeping pace.

So how can tax and accounting firms adapt to this talent drought—and ensure they attract and retain the best minds in the business? Here are some tips, tactics, and benefits to enhance your firm’s resilience and adaptability in these changing times.

#1: Embrace remote work + collaborative tech tools

The pandemic taught us many things, one of them being that our profession won’t crumble if we aren’t all in the office at the same time. If you are hesitant about embracing a remote work model, consider starting with a hybrid approach.

Remote work doesn’t just solve immediate logistical issues; it expands your talent pool globally and increases workforce diversity. For example, our firm transitioned to a remote model in 2020 and later adopted a four-day workweek. This shift not only enhanced our work-life balance, but also significantly broadened our hiring reach, allowing us to tap into a diverse range of professionals who might not have considered an in-office role.

#2: Invest in training and development

It’s often been thought that hiring experienced staff reduces the training spend and learning curve, but as boomer accountants retire or exit the profession, we have to get creative with our approach to training and development. Recent errors in the quarterly earnings statements of public companies as reported by Bloomberg underscore the impacts of the CPA shortage. This isn’t just about filling positions. It’s about fostering a culture of continuous learning. By investing in comprehensive training programs, especially for entry-level employees, firms can cultivate a more capable, advanced workforce prepared to rise within the ranks. As we prepare for a future where experienced accountants might no longer be available, this proactive approach to skill enhancement is crucial.

#3: Adapt to the evolving workforce

As the seasoned accountant pool dwindles, we must broaden our hiring strategies. Look beyond traditional resumes. Consider candidates who excel in critical soft skills such as communication and analytical thinking. These competencies are invaluable and often complement the technical skills that can be taught on the job. Tools such as predictive assessments and job auditions offer a practical evaluation of candidates, helping us uncover potential that a resume might not reveal.

As Gen Z starts to constitute a larger portion of the workforce, the appeal of job opportunities emphasizing career mobility and the potential impact of the role cannot be overstated. By tailoring your recruitment messages to these aspects, you can significantly enhance both the quantity and quality of your applicant pool.

#4: Become an actual “Great Place to Work”

A vibrant company culture transcends well-crafted statements in a handbook; it is evident in every aspect of operations. Prioritizing the well-being of your team is essential, and it’s about more than just open communication and growth opportunities. You must create an environment where employees genuinely feel valued, respected, and empowered. Getting to know your workforce will make all the difference. This intel should guide your recognition methods, benefits packages, and the way in which you support your team. These could include health insurance, retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, wellness programs, and additional perks such as paid time off for volunteering or parental leave.

According to the Harvard Business Review, 73% of all employees juggle some form of caregiving responsibilities. Knowing that potentially three out of four of your employees could be caring for a child, relative, or aging parent—while juggling work—can better equip you to create an environment that allows them to bring their best selves to work. This thoughtful approach doesn’t just boost morale; it strengthens the entire company culture, leading to better retention and overall productivity.

#5: Prioritize work-life integration

In 2023, Hudson Labs conducted an analysis for Bloomberg News, noting that more than 700 companies identified a lack of sufficient staffing as a potential source of errors—a 30% increase from 2019. This talent shortage strains existing staff, leading to burnout and increasing the likelihood of errors as overworked employees struggle with growing workloads. Balance is key to preventing burnout and maintaining high levels of productivity and morale. Encourage employees to prioritize their well-being by setting boundaries between work and personal life. If you don’t encourage it, laws such as the bill recently proposed in California could soon be put into effect that would mandate it. Implement policies that promote flexibility, such as flexible hours or unlimited PTO, to accommodate individual needs and preferences.

Put yourself in the driver’s seat

Addressing the talent shortage in accounting requires more than temporary fixes. It demands a strategic transformation in how we recruit, train, and retain professionals. By embracing flexibility, enhancing training, broadening our understanding of candidate potential, and fostering a supportive work environment, we can ensure that our firms not only survive, but thrive in the face of these challenges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *