Menu

How to Inspire Accountants of the Next Generation

May 12, 2022

Did you know that approximately 63.8% of the global workforce will be millennials and Generation Z workers by 2025?

Hiring employees from a younger talent pool is an excellent way to bring in new perspectives that can help your accounting firm grow. However, recruiting young accountants requires a different approach than recruiting more mature accounting professionals. 

Keep reading to learn more about how your firm would benefit from hiring millennials and Generation Z accountants and the methods that attract them most effectively.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring Younger Recruits?

While established CPAs bring value through their expertise and experience, hiring young accountants comes with its own advantages, such as: 

1. Diversity

Hiring younger accounting professionals helps create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Diversity and inclusion are critical in society and the modern business world. Supporting a diverse work environment enables accounting firms to improve organisational innovation, boost employee satisfaction, and create a more productive team. According to 78% of professionals, prioritising diversity and inclusion offers a competitive advantage.

2. Workforce development

Everyone knows the expression “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. 

Young accountants will recently have completed university and will therefore be used to learning, which helps them retain a mindset to absorb accountant training. Accounting firms can view such recruits as a ‘blank slate’ that will allow the company to develop a workforce specifically trained to fulfil its specific needs. 

3. Tech advancement and adoption

The advancement of technology has transformed the financial sector, and older accounting firms (particularly an older workforce) may struggle to master new equipment and programs. 

However, the younger generations have grown up with advancing technology and developed an ability to apply and understand new solutions quickly. This ‘tech agility’ sets millennials and Generation Z individuals apart from other generations. Therefore, younger employees can help drive your firm forward as technology becomes incorporated into virtually every aspect of accounting.

4. Affordability

In most cases, wages for younger employees are lower than for older, more experienced accounting experts. Thus, hiring young professionals allows firms to access talented minds while saving capital. Accounting firms can even offer unpaid trainee programs or apprenticeships that permit new, inexperienced professionals to learn the trade and gain valuable experience at the firm without financial cost.

What Are the Priorities of Younger Accountants?

To attract and retain young talent, it’s important to understand what millennials and Generation Z adults value in an accounting position. We’ll run through the main aspects to consider below:

A job with meaning

Younger generations desire jobs that allow them to make a difference and value firms that share the same passion for making the world a better place. 

Flexibility

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to younger generations that flexible work arrangements are possible. From remote working to flexible schedules, young adults prefer firms that can provide flexibility to allow a better work-life balance.

Benefits beyond salary

Generation Z and millennials were brought up in a time when salary isn’t everything and place significance on benefits beyond the amount on their paycheck. Benefits young professionals seek in firms include paid leave, pension schemes, health insurance, mental health support, and childcare reimbursement. 

Mentorship

New in the finance sector with limited experience, younger accountants are often eager to learn from more established peers. They thrive on challenge and opportunity, always looking for ways to move up or take on new roles at the firm. So providing solid coaching, training, and interpersonal support makes it easier for accounting firms to attract and retain talented young candidates and improve work performance.

What Methods of Recruitment Can Firms Use?

To attract young recruits and inspire new accountants to apply for a job at your firm, it’s helpful to think outside the box when choosing recruitment methods. 

Leverage Social Media

A strong social media presence is crucial to attracting younger talent to your firm. Provide content of value on social platforms young recruits frequent (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to increase the chances of getting their attention. Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram also allow businesses to create targeted advertisements to promote new positions at the company to ensure young accounting professionals see them. 

Highlight Causes Your Firm Supports

Roughly 93% of employees believe companies must lead with a purpose. A further 88% believe it’s no longer acceptable for corporations to profit at the expense of society at large. 

Young people today are drawn to businesses that aren’t afraid to publicly stand behind important causes and showcase language that openly supports inclusion and diversity. Therefore, highlighting the values and causes that your firm supports in your job advertisements is a great way to attract younger talent. 

Promote Long-term Benefits

Did you know that 80% of millennials believe that all employers should provide a retirement savings option?

When discussing compensation with a Generation Z or millennial recruit, include any additional benefits your firm offers. Whether you provide outstanding health insurance, a winning pension scheme, employee mental health support, or options to contribute to social causes, mention it during the conversation.

How to Inspire and Support Young Accountants at Your Firm

It’s important to remember that Generation Z and millennial generation members have experienced unprecedented hardships despite their young ages. Instead of inheriting a stable work environment with clear goals, new accountants experienced international catastrophes, such as the pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war, during a very formative stage of their career. So take time to understand their needs, trepidations and values. 

Ultimately, the future of your accounting firm lies in the hands of younger generations, so it’s vital not only to recruit them but also to invest in their career growth. By following the advice in this guide, your firm has the information necessary to attract and inspire talented accountants that will take your firm into the future.

Grow Your Accounting Network with INAA

Here at INAA, we connect accounting firms who aim to deliver quality professional services around a shared vision to make global business personal, and take personal business global. 

With every industry change, our collaborative association of international businesses is committed to driving the conversation around auditing and accounting.

Join today to start building powerful business relationships.