4 big secrets to attract rather than recruit the right accounting staff

When it comes to hiring new accountancy staff to join your firm, you have to hire the right people. When it comes to the recruitment process, however, sometimes the right people aren’t even in the mix! Rather than accepting this as ‘the norm,’ reduce the money that you spend on recruitment costs and start attracting  accounting staff to your firm who really want to work for you. Here are four big things that you can do yourself to attract the best of the bunch.


1. How can your firm meet the needs of the accounting staff that you want?

By thinking about what your ideal staff members will be looking for in an employer, you can make sure that you tick their boxes. Obviously, not everybody is looking for the same factors in employment, but very common needs and wants are:

  • A friendly environment.
  • Opportunities to learn and develop.
  • A clear career path.
  • Opportunities to give back to the community, especially as a team.
  • A social workplace where they can build relationships.
  • Flexible working either in terms of hours or location.
  • A firm that is environmentally responsible.
  • Opportunities to travel.
  • A firm that offers rewards, benefits and perks that they personally value.
  • Secure employment.
  • A firm that is creative and dynamic   

2. What’s your unique selling point (USP) for potential employees?

Once you have ensured that you can meet the needs of the accounting staff that you want to attract, you then have to think about how you will attract them. Specifically, think about your USP - why should people choose to work for you over your competitor down the road?

Here are some examples that may apply to your firm:

  • Your flexible work environment - do you cater for all of your staff? Perhaps you offer flexible hours and location-independent working. Perhaps you’re very flexible with hours, letting parents who need to do the school run come in later or the early-birds start work in the early hours.
  • Your perks and benefits - do you offer unique perks and benefits? Perhaps you pay your staff to give back to charity and the local community 1 day every month. Perhaps you host family fun days, such as an outdoor cinema event or Christmas party, or you allow staff members to bring their dogs to work with them.
  • Your awesome culture - do you create a fun work environment that makes your happy employees tell everyone they meet about it? Perhaps you have weekly internal competitions or you have dress down Friday or pizza Wednesday.

Discover more about USPs in our blog “6 ways to punch above your weight and attract high-quality staff to your small accountancy firm.”

3. Use all of your potential ‘attracting’ channels

You know what your potential employees want and you know how to attract them with your USPs, now you just have to get in front of them to get them to come to you. Although visibility can sometimes be a battle, you can get a high reward for very little time, effort, and money spent.

Consider utilising one or a combination of all of these channels:

  • Social media - a very large proportion of people use one or more social network like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. They’re free to use and they can greatly increase your reach in the job seekers pool.
  • Employee referrals - think about how you can encourage and reward your employees for bringing new people into the firm.
  • Career advice - offer to give career advice or a talk about what it’s like to be in the accounting industry at local schools and colleges.
  • Local newspapers - give articles about your firm to local newspapers or online news/magazines.
  • Charity events - organise charity events and encourage and support the staff that participate. Share this on your social media channels.
  • Marketing - utilise buzz marketing to generate business leads and attract accounting staff to your firm.
  • Sponsorship - could you sponsor local sports teams to get your brand out in the community?
  • Local schools - support local schools with books and supplies and become known as a great place to work.
  • Outreach programmes - consider reaching out to under-represented groups or people looking to re-enter the workforce.

If you want to find out more about utilising all of these channels, read our full blog 9 different (but highly effective) ways to attract high-quality staff to your small accountancy firm.”

4. What is your Employee’s Value Proposition (EVP)?

The fourth way that you can attract accounting staff that you actually want and who really want to work for you, is by thinking about your EVP. What specific rewards and working conditions can you offer that are aimed at the type of candidate and type of work they’ll be expected to do?

Here are some of the EVPs that you can offer:

  • School leavers - you could use them as apprentices and they could get their professional qualifications through you. You can help them develop their own career and offer professional development opportunities.
  • Work experience and interns - you could link up with local secondary schools and offer work experience, internships, and gap year experience opportunities.
  • Experienced hires - with experienced hires, such as mothers who have been out of the workforce but are coming back in, you could offer part-time working, job sharing options or even flexible working either in terms of hours or working from home once a week.

Do you attract or recruit your accounting staff?

You can always train someone to have the skills that they need, it’s the right attitudes that are hard to find. By figuring out who you are looking for (what needs do you satisfy?) and how you can attract them (what are your USPs?), all you have to do is use your different channels to get your company vision and your core values out there to attract the right employees to you.

Ready to kick-start the growth of your firm?