Build Your Firm’s Dream Team Using These 3 Recruitment Resources

March 29, 2017 Jillean Kearney

The success of your firm is driven by your team – they will be the single biggest contributor to your future growth. The best advisors build forward momentum by crafting plans to recruit great new talent. Below are three helpful resources for finding A+ team members.
 

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Graduate Recruitment

When filling entry-level positions, it's vital to find talented and passionate prospects. One of the best ways to do this is to catch these rockstars at the earliest stage of their careers.

Recruiting top graduates is not as easy as taking advantage of a school's job board. You will need to set your firm apart from the competition in order to score the best of the best for your firm. Offer more than just a competitive salary. Provide a clearly defined career path to candidates. Today’s graduates are actively seeking solid training programs and the chance to work on what interests them the most.

A graduate's decision to choose your firm over another will often come down to the value-added programs you have on offer.

The benefits of graduate recruitment:

  • Graduate recruitment offers good value in terms of salary and recruiting costs; not only will the initial salary costs be lower, but the right hire will add revenue for years to come

  • The best graduates are immersed in the most current accounting best practices and technology; they can help you navigate the changes that cloud accounting will bring

  • You will often be able to work with candidates before they graduate by taking them on as interns; this will provide the opportunity to immerse themselves in your culture and workflow before they are brought on as a full-time, permanent employees

  • Graduates are often the most willing to learn – they are ambitious and eager to impress in their first job and you can support the development of new skills to suit your firm's long-term needs

Tips for recruiting the best graduates:

Experiment with HR marketing. Build an HR marketing plan into your online brand. Use social media to share team photos, company stories and content that demonstrates your firm’s culture. Showcase what it's like to work at your firm and all of the perks involved. Get your staff involved in the creation and sharing of this content, too. 

Don’t dismiss great candidates because they lack experience. Graduates will not have a lot of work experience, so don’t make that the main hiring criteria. Instead, ask interview questions that require candidates to demonstrate whether they possess behaviors important for cultural fit, their problem-solving capabilities and willingness to learn.

Build an internship program. An internship program can serve as a feeder program for your entry-level hires. This will ensure that your new permanent hires are people that you know, are valued and are a cultural fit.

Attract graduates with mentorship opportunities. Solid teaching and training programs will set your firm apart. Communicate the opportunities for a graduate to advance in your firm. Show them a future they can aspire to.

Expand your educational network. Participate in the career services programs at local universities. Develop connections with professors and advisors. Attend job fairs and speak at campus events.
 

Social Media Groups

The cloud accounting community is very active on social media. It's very likely that your next great hire is a part of at least one social media group to converse and connect with peers. Facebook and LinkedIn are home to a huge number of these types of groups. Target your recruiting in these channels to gain access to a huge pool of candidates. Use these platforms to communicate exactly who you’re looking for and why they would want to work with your firm.

The benefits of social recruitment:

  • Social media groups give you easy access to a huge pool of potential candidates

  • You can paint a comprehensive picture of your firm and how it differs from your competitors by sharing HR marketing content to showcase the excellence of your people and clients

  • You can be selective with the groups you use for recruiting; choose groups that feature topics and discussions that align with your firm's values and culture

  • This targeted approach is less expensive than hiring a recruiting firm

Tips for recruiting using social media groups:

Have a defined recruiting process. Since this is a DIY networking effort, you’ll have to be disciplined about managing the recruiting process. Otherwise, it can impinge on the rest of the firm’s work. Make one person responsible. Define your ideal candidate profile in your job posting. Pre-screen candidates and interview only those who look like they’d be a great fit.

Harness the power of your firm’s network. Ask your staff to post in social groups on your behalf to boost your firm's presence in each group. Get them to share your content, ask questions, etc. Ask business partners, vendors, and clients to spread the word, too.

Share your story/be aspirational. Show don’t tell. Use social media groups to share value-add advice. Demonstrate your thought leadership in cloud accounting. Share your vision of the future to get prospects excited about their potential contribution to your firm's growth.

 

Online HR Resources

Advances in technology have created efficiencies in recruiting. Many online HR companies take advantage of algorithm-based testing, internet job boards, and automated selection processes. For the advisor, this efficiency means less involvement and lower costs. A good online recruitment tool can give a small accounting firm access to a wide range of talent, while also helping screen and select the best candidates.

The benefits of online recruitment tools:

  • Online HR resources give you wide reach and targeted results as many recruiters have a database of existing candidates, and can also automatically publish job postings to multiple job boards at once

  • Many firms offer consultations and training services to help you create the perfect job posting 

  • Many online recruiters offer behavioral testing customized to your needs, allowing you to quickly identify the candidates that will be a great fit for you

  • Many online recruiters offer blogs, training, videos and other content/events to help job seekers; this content keeps job seekers engaged and ready to hear what you have to offer

Tips for recruiting using online tools:

Define your ROI. Create a recruiting budget. Make sure it fits within the overall compensation package for the hire. Then stick to it.

Choose an industry-specific vendor. Many advisors use accounting-specific recruiting tools like Accountingfly as they understand your exact needs –  take advantage of this niche expertise.

Choose a vendor with whom you can develop a long-term relationship. Your needs are not limited to the hire in front of you today. You’ll need more great people as you scale, so choose a firm that will grow with you.

Put one person in charge of recruiting. Although you are outsourcing much of the recruiting process, don’t lose control. Hires are too important to be made without significant firm involvement

Make use of a vendor’s value-add offerings. Take part in the training they offer. Work with their consultants. Learn about their hiring process. It’ll make you a better recruiter going forward.
 

Wrap Up

These three resources can help you make great recruiting decisions. Make sure to choose the approach that matches the type of candidate you seek. For instance, recruiting graduates is a great way to fill entry-level positions, but a recruiter can help you find more senior talent. Make sure whichever approach you choose aligns with your budget and the amount of time you're willing to invest. Finding the right solution for you will help you build an efficient growth engine for your firm.
 

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