Probably one of the biggest challenges facing the accountancy industry is finding and keeping the right staff. This can be a real problem, especially for small accountancy firms, as without the right staff, the growth of the business can be hindered significantly. This article, based on an extract from The Accountants Millionaires’ Club book, tells you everything you need to know about recruiting and keeping the right team members for your firm without the need for using agents.
Always look for staff who get your why
The best way to compete with the bigger firms who pay the bigger salaries is to attract good staff that fit your why and growth plans for your business.
Why? Because the right staff who fit with your why will flourish in their position, helping you to propel your firm in the direction that you want.
When looking for the right staff, it’s important to play to your strengths so that they want to work with your firm and stay there for the long term. Here is how to do just that.
6 ways to attract the right staff members and make them want to stick around
Grow a strong local profile
High-quality staff will want to work with successful firms, so broadcast this success to get your firm’s name out there.
Ways that you can increase your brand awareness are:
- Via local newsletters - placing a job advert in a local newsletter is much cheaper than a local newspaper and it will reach the right audience.
- Entering accountancy and local awards - local awards will attract a decent amount of local and free PR and any shortlisting or win will contribute to your local profile considerably.
- Driving a branded car - it’s very cost-effective to have a magnetic sign or printed graphic made up for your car and it’s a fun and unique way to let people know you are hiring.
Be authentic and unique
A great way to attract the right team members for you is often to go against traditional practices; the more ways you can create an office environment that ditches rules for rule’s sake, the more productive your workspace is likely to be and the more likely you will be able to appeal to the younger and newer generation of workers.
Looking for ways to change up your workplace? How about:
- Letting your employees listen to music via their headphones while they work?
- Having a variety of workspaces such as stand up desks to cater to different ways of working?
Whatever your ways of increasing productivity and allowing your staff to excel, you can be sure that you won’t regret taking the time to get creative.
Introduce flexible working
If you can run your practice without relying on employees working full-time during normal office hours, you will attract a much broader talent pool to your firm.
More and more people are looking to work around the typical nine-to-five, five days a week, so if you could offer part-time working, early starts, late finishes or the ability to work from home for some of the time, this will be highly desirable to many workers.
Are there benefits to this? Offering flexible working allows you to:
- Attract flexible and motivated workers with a strong work ethic and loyalty.
- Compete with bigger firms who can’t offer this to their employees.
- Be available for clients outside of the normal office hours.
Tailor your staff perks
Staff perks are great motivators and they really show how much you care and value your employees.
The more personal you can make staff perks the better, so get creative and think of ways that you can do this. After all, large firms can’t tailor their staff perks as much so this is one way that you can outshine them.
Would it appeal to many if your staff could:
- bring their dog into work with them?
- take a morning yoga class or exercise session over lunch?
- get lunch for free on their birthday or when they hit their sales targets?
Be proactive with your recruitment
One mistake that a lot of firms make is to wait until they need to hire new staff before starting the recruitment process. While there isn’t necessarily anything majorly wrong with this, it is much more time consuming and can lead to the wrong staff getting hired just to fill a position.
Successful firms will think one or two hires ahead of what they need so that when the time comes, they have prospects already in mind and can hire early if a good opportunity presents itself.
Ways that you can give yourself the best chance of recruiting the right workers is to:
- Have a careers section on your website.
- Connect with potential employees on LinkedIn.
- Build connections with the local training colleges.
- Offer internships or work experience to students from your local schools or colleges.
Make your firm an exciting place to work
High-quality employees are attracted to successful firms with a strong vision and purpose, especially if they can play an important part in helping them achieve their goals.
So how can you make your firm an exciting place to work? You could:
- Rebrand to a strong block colour which you can use to update your business cards and colour scheme in the office.
- Decorate the office walls with inspiring photographs or wall graphics that resonate with your staff.
- Go one more than dress down Friday by making every day business casual dress.
- Celebrate employee’s birthdays with cake and a party over lunch.
- Implement a social fund for staff entertainment which the firm contributes to when financial targets are met.
- Encourage your staff to form sports teams or other social groups so they can participate in local leagues.