Archive for the ‘Recruiting’ Category

Friday, August 26th, 2022

Plant Seeds Early – Flashback Friday

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” – Abraham Lincoln

Be sure you are talking about all of the positive things about being a CPA. Forget about dwelling on the long hours. Read this flashback about planting seeds early.

  • You don't have to be a great start, but you have to start to be great.
  • Zig Ziglaf

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

Be Visible

“The power of visibility can never be underestimated. – Margaret Cho

Soon students will be returning to the college campus. Your CPA firm better be doing the same thing. This Fall, make sure your firm is visible on the college campus.

I vividly remember one conversation with four college students who were seniors and accounting majors. Two of them had jobs with the big four, one had a job in corporate accounting and the fourth was still looking. They shared their lack of knowledge about local and regional CPA firms. They didn’t even seem to be aware that there were such firms!

I always knew the large national firms were very prominent on college campuses, but these students told me that the big four were visible every single week on campus, sponsoring something, hosting a fun event, etc.

How visible is your firm on your local college campuses? For some of you, not at all, and for others, you might be visible on campus once or twice during the fall semester.

Keep in mind the pool of accounting graduates is smaller than ever. What can you do to catch the fish in that small pool? One easy thing is to be more visible.

  • I've found hat luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.
  • Brian Tracy

Monday, July 25th, 2022

The Mystery About Compensation

“When it comes to landing a good job, many people focus on the role. Although finding the right title, position, and salary is important, there’s another consideration that matters just as much: culture.” – Adam Grant

Why is there so much mystery surrounding compensation inside accounting firms? I don’t have a good answer to this question. Probably, “because that is how we have always handled it.”

I still find CPA firms that declare their staff should not discuss compensation. Yeah, right. Times have definitely changed regarding the confidentiality of salaries. The internet took that confidentiality away.

If you think your team members don’t know, in general, what each makes, you are fooling yourself.

Be more open, and embrace transparency. You don’t have to be exactly specific. Publicize salary ranges. If you are a beginner, you will make somewhere between $XX,XXX and $XX,XXX per year. If you are a Senior the range is (fill in the blanks). Supervisor, Manager, Senior Manager, etc.

In the past, disclosing the salary was something that happened in the 2nd interview. Now, talking about salary ranges early on in the interview process is helpful to the candidate. They can decide if they want to continue the interview and 2nd interview process early on and save everybody some time.

  • There's no way I can justify my salary level, but I'm learning to live with it.
  • Drew Carey

Friday, July 22nd, 2022

Speak to Students – Flashback Friday

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

Profession leaders are urging CPAs to go into high schools and speak about the benefits of majoring in accounting in college and becoming a CPA.

I have additional advice. Check out this flashback post.

Have a great weekend!

  • Be so good they can't ignore you.
  • Steve Martin

Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Publicize Your Benefits

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl

I have a Google notification set to alert me about accounting firm news. I noticed that a firm in a large city earned several spotlights in the news, one from a local source, and it was picked up by Yahoo news.

The news is (and it is old news to many of us) that the firm is closing its offices at noon on Friday for the remainder of the summer.

Why is publicizing something like this a good lesson for you? Younger CPAs focused on growing their careers will read the press release and think: “I should learn more about that firm and apply for a job there.”

In your hiring ads, mention that you close on Fridays in the summer. At this point, normal activities to attract talent have worn out. Do you have a unique employee benefit? Publicize it.

  • The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
  • W. B. Yeats

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Keep Your Hook In The Water

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins

When finding talent to hire for your firm, a good friend of mine and long-time CPA management consultant, Steve Ericksen, noted that he always told his CPA firm clients to “keep their hook in the water.” Sadly, Steve has passed away, but I remember and appreciate so much of what I learned from Steve.

“Keep your hook in the water” means you must make it widely known that you are looking to hire accountants. You not only have to advertise on all reputable sites but also need to talk about it openly with everyone in your business and personal circles. When talking to attorneys, bankers, and clients, mention that your firm is hiring and actively seeking qualified candidates and ask if they know of anyone.

Make it a positive statement, such as, we are growing and expanding and now have room for more people. If you know anyone who might be interested in working for a progressive, growing, future-focused accounting firm, please let me know.

You can also mention it to friends and relatives. You never know where your next qualified hire might come from.

  • Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.
  • Richard Branson

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Next July

“It is really a cool perk.” – Alan Sobel

I recently read that Sobel, a 190-person CPA firm in New Jersey, closed their office and gave their entire staff the week of July 4th off.

Here’s a quote from the article by Tom Bergeron:

You might be surprised – what with him serving as the managing member of an accounting firm – but Alan Sobel said he didn’t break out any spreadsheets or enter any figures into a calculator to determine just how much giving his entire staff at Sobel Co the entire week off would cost the company.

That’s not what this was about.

Yes, Sobel acknowledges it is a cool perk but it is also a way to thank their team for all their hard work. They notified clients and others of the office closing via all the social media outlets. None of their clients seemed to mind, they seemed to understand.

I have heard of a few other firms also closing the week of July 4th each year. Maybe it is something for you to consider for next year. July 4th in 2023 is on a Tuesday. You would probably close on Monday anyway. Read the entire article. It might convince you to do the same. Think about it!

  • If our doing this leads other companies to think about doing the same thing, that’s great. But that’s not why we did it. This was about saying, ‘thanks,’ to our people.
  • Alan Sobel

Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

Important Survey

“Winning is something, but participation is everything.” ― Debasish Mridha

I wanted to be sure you are aware that the 2022 ConvergenceCoaching®, LLC Anytime, Anywhere Work™(ATAWW) Survey is currently open for participation. The survey seeks input on remote and flexible work practices in accounting and consulting firms across the country. ConvergenceCoaching is offering participants the summary results along with best practices and strategies to implement these programs and maintain a competitive advantage. They’re requesting only one entry per firm, so be sure you coordinate with other leaders in your organization (usually the HR leader or Managing Partner). Here is the link to participate. The survey is open through July 15th.

  • Personal participation is the universal principle of knowing.
  • Michael Polanyl

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Signing Bonus

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.” – Stephen Hawking

Signing bonuses are just one bit of ammunition in your hiring arsenal.

Just in case you aren’t up-to-date on what firms are doing in this area, a mid-size firm I recently talked with told me they are offering $10,000-$15,000 as a signing bonus.

I am sure many of you are doing the same AND many of you aren’t, but should.

  • The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.
  • Jimmy Johnson

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

Keeping People

“But day in and day out, the most stimulating part of the work is being a member of a team of so many very bright, articulate and talented professionals.” – – Randy West

We are hearing so much about CPA firms losing people. I continue to hear about and read about the Great Resignation and also that women are often forced to make choices that put family ahead of career. Here’s an idea that may help you retain more females AND males.

Consider embracing a career lattice culture rather than a career ladder culture. Not everyone achieves success in the same way. Often there are many detours along the way.

Research has shown that public accounting loses a lot of good people (and many females) when they believe public accounting will not accommodate their personal and career choices. Women want to start a family so they think they must leave public accounting. Don’t let your young talent make this assumption. Most successful firms have already embraced flexibility offering remote and hybrid schedules as a formal part of their culture.

I urge you to paint a picture for your young professionals of a career lattice. Communicate to them: If there comes a time in your life whether you are male or female, when you need or want less (or more), a reduced schedule, more regular hours, less travel, more travel, less responsibility, or really want to accelerate your advancement in the firm – talk to us!

The lattice, as opposed to a career ladder, allows people to stay at a certain level, move sideways, or even step downwards for a time and still not put their career progression in danger.

  • Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energy moving forward together towards an answer.
  • Denis Waitley