A year after our series of articles on experienced hire recruiting, we are still hearing firms say “We can’t find good (seniors, managers, directors, insert your specific need here)”. We cringe when we hear it because it sounds helpless, hopeless, and a lot like quitting. Some firms are giving up on experienced hire recruiting, and in our minds they haven’t yet started running the race!
Here are three powerful steps your small or large firm can take today to kick-start your experienced hire recruiting efforts.
- Assign someone to own Experienced Hire Recruiting. This might be a dedicated full or part-time recruiter (and if you are 75 employees or more, we would recommend you have a recruiter on staff), or it might be an HR person, a Firm Administrator, or even a client-facing team member. Most importantly, be sure the owner has the time carved out to work on recruiting efforts year-round. The owner’s first job will be to fill out our Experienced Hire Recruiting Roles Grid, which can serve as a map to the type of activities your firm could be conducting to seek out experienced hires. See I Thought You Were Doing That for more tips on how a roles grid can help clarify responsibilities, enroll others in owning various aspects and getting real traction and results.
- Convene an Experienced Hire Recruiting Committee. The new owner of Experienced Hire Recruiting will need a small group of people to take on recruiting tasks, generate new ideas and serve as a sounding board for what recruiting and marketing efforts might have the highest ROI. Assemble a diverse cross-section of your firm with many levels and departments represented and those willing to own a “box” or two in the Experienced Hire Roles Grid. The Committee should plan to meet on a regular basis with the Experienced Hire Recruiting Owner serving as a facilitator to discuss what needs to change to kick-start your efforts in this area. Send the committee members the articles from our experienced hire recruiting blog series (Finding Success in Recruiting Requires a Change in Philosophy, Six Ideas for Building a Recruiting Community, and Relentless Recruiting) to educate committee members on the kinds of activities that are helping firms find experienced candidates and identify the top three activities your firm will invest in over the next year. Armed with this information, the Experienced Hire Recruiting Owner can then get appropriate approval from your Managing Partner or leadership team.
- Identify your firm’s unique, special and different (USD) message. What are the aspects of your firm that team members most appreciate? Is it related to the fun activities your team do together, or the types of clients you serve? Or maybe it’s the personalized career opportunities you are able to provide for your staff, or the “cool technology tools” you have available. Together with your Experienced Hire Recruiting Committee, generate a list of the best things about your firm. Or even better, survey the whole firm using a quick and easy online survey. Then distill the list down to the top three valued attributes (your USD) for experienced candidates as well as your campus candidates (which may be different based on their age and stage in their career). Weave those messages into your recruiting efforts, including your “Why Work for Us” website, job advertisements, and LinkedIn posts of your job openings. Explore new ways to broadcast what’s great about your firm out into the CPA marketplace to attract great candidates to your firm.
We believe your firm can find experienced candidates and these three actions will help you get there faster. Stop feeling helpless and take these three actions today!