ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Recruitment strategies when hiring accountants

The 3 things you need to know before you hire your next accountant.

June 2021

The hiring world was already changing, but now the transformation is clearer to see. New recruitment strategies, accelerated by the recent different ways of working, have come to the fore.

Companies have come to the realisation that each new hire is an important jigsaw piece in the puzzle of building a business for the future, not simply replacing the workforce of the past.

Simply reusing job descriptions no longer attracts the right talent. Today, more of a focus is on emerging and evolving skills, as well as recognising expiring skills which aren’t as relevant as they were a couple of years ago.

As a result, leaders are now looking beyond just the immediate needs of their teams and thinking about which skills the business as a whole will need to succeed in the future. Being able to react to the challenges of tomorrow is exactly what’s important in such an agile working world.

Here are 3 new recruitment strategies that every business, when hiring accountants, should be implementing…

1. Skills-Based Hiring: Focus more on soft skills and look beyond traditional qualifications

The pace of change in the working world has gathered momentum in recent years. This constant requirement for businesses to quickly adapt to variable market conditions has made it increasingly tricky for hiring managers to keep up with role demands. The skills relevant for job functions seem to have an increasingly short shelf life.

In reaction to this, those hiring new employees to build for their company’s future have done so most successfully by placing more importance on certain interpersonal skills over the more traditional aspects such as industry specific experience and university degree.

Drive to upskill, curiosity, agility and teamwork, now top the list as companies increasingly seem to be hiring for potential, not based solely on past experience.

2. Take a broader approach when sourcing talent

From years of successfully hiring the best people for your teams, you think you know the right places to look - it’s worked numerous times in the past after all. But that was the past.

Where you historically found new team members may no longer be the best place to look. As a by-product of placing less emphasis on academic degrees, certifications, and formal experience, your search will naturally extend to a broader pool compared to the past.

The fact that remote working has been more widely accepted and adopted increases your talent pool even further. If your company embraces this way of working, including fully remote workers in your search criteria means you are no longer tied to local talent and can source people from anywhere in the world.

3. Adjust your perception of what job seekers want

Professionals weigh up job opportunities differently these days; offering the highest salary is no longer the best route to securing new team members.

Due to the increased level of autonomy from being more in control of their working patterns, candidates expect to have a say in the design of their jobs.

Humanised offerings are also more important. How can the job you’re offering improve their lives as a whole, not just professionally? Being able to understand what they need and desire on a personal level can be a hugely influential talent attraction and retention strategy.

One of the most prominent trends from the past 12 months has been the boom in online learning and upskilling. Whilst many professionals have undertaken this proactively, it can act as a powerful tool for employers to offer such opportunities to their teams.

Are you ready for the future?

There is no crystal ball we can gaze into and accurately predict what recruitment processes will look like in the future. But from recent new recruitment strategies cropping up from organisations hiring accountants, a picture is being painted of what we should all expect.

London Accountant

Go to London Accountant for more features, news and opinion.
Follow us on Twitter @ICAEW_London and join us on LinkedIn: LSCA and Croydon.
Subscribe to ‘regional updates’ to receive more articles.