Successful Hiring Strategies in a Candidate-Led Market

December 5, 2022

Businesses across the world have been struggling to hire new staff this year. Unemployment figures are at record lows in the UK, EU and U.S. while the number of vacancies continues to rise. If this wasn’t enough, the uptick in retirees has intensified recruitment pressures as senior staff leave the workforce.

Revamping your hiring strategy to attract the newest generation of accountants is vital to remain competitive. In this article, we’ll outline some of the tenets of modern junior accountant recruitment and examine what you can do to attract talented junior accountants more easily.

Who are today’s junior accountants and why does it matter for your hiring strategy?

Today’s Junior Accountants are largely from Generation Z. Born from the late 90s through to the early noughties, this cohort are highly-educated digital natives who, according to the Pew Research Centre, value inclusivity, fairness and sincerity

Evidencing these traits throughout your hiring strategy is essential because it can help you appeal to this new demographic of working professionals and ensure your firm is competitive.
Today’s hiring pressures will likely linger since accountancy is a highly-skilled profession, so you need to be proactive about onboarding new talent. 

Interestingly, the oldest Gen Zers are only in their early 20s, meaning the shifts we’ll come to see in the labour market for junior accountants is only just beginning. That’s why it’s important to get ahead now and consider what you can do to perfect your junior accountant recruitment.

How to adapt your junior accountant recruitment strategy

Make your job listing transparent and attractive

The recruitment process starts with the job description, and today’s job seekers want to understand which opportunities are available to them quickly. Compensation is the leading factor that attracts people to a certain role, so disclose the salary (or salary banding) early on. Then, outline the application process and its various steps; three interviews are typical but be sure to mention if you have additional steps like a take-home task.

Afterwards, list the role’s expectations and progression pathway to give candidates an understanding of what success looks like rather than prerequisites alone. LinkedIn research suggests that it’s a good idea to invite candidates to apply even if they’re not an ideal fit, so taking this outcome-based approach helps.

Offer a comprehensive benefits package

Today’s working professionals want to be empowered while they work and become meaningful contributors in their organisation. For example, the majority of Gen Z-ers want their work to have meaning and be able to collaborate with top performers on key projects. So, try to develop a benefits package that takes this into account. 

For example, candidates want to see what sets one company apart from another, which is why framing statutory employment rights as ‘benefits’ can leave a bad impression. Instead, focus on more attractive benefits like flexible and autonomous working, enriching learning opportunities and holistic well-being support.

Revamp your onboarding process

While developing your hiring strategy, think about employee retention too. Equipping new team members with the information, tools and skills they need to thrive can help you avoid constantly having to recruit. For instance, research from Glassdoor shows effective onboarding can decrease employee turnover and increase productivity at the same time, so it pays off long term as well as short term.

Fresh accounting firm marketing ideas

Even while you’re not actively conducting a junior accountant recruitment campaign, your marketing activity can feed into your hiring strategy. Below are some extra things you can do to attract new junior accounting talent.

Showcase your firm’s culture online

Candidates do plenty of research ahead of applying and interviewing for jobs. Around half of applicants follow companies on social media to hear about job listings, which gives you a key opportunity to create content geared towards this audience.

Dedicating a social media platform like Instagram to showcasing your culture can help potential applicants get a better feel for what day-to-day life is like at your business. Posting about work-life balance, employee side projects, promotions and important causes can show that you offer a welcoming and nurturing environment.

Reach out one-to-one

Of course, you could also take a more personal approach to your hiring strategy and meet candidates one-to-one. For example, you could conduct campus visits and meet final-year students before they graduate or invite candidates to your offices ahead of interviewing.

As with posting online, this offers potential applicants more transparency over what it’s like to work at your accountancy firm and helps candidates understand how they could fit in. In particular, they can see how your team – their would-be colleagues – operate and why they joined in the first place.

Modernising your junior accountant recruitment

As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to revitalise your hiring strategy and speak directly to the new generation of junior accountants entering the workforce today.

As you start recruiting, remember that today’s working professionals want to join inclusive workplaces that offer growth opportunities. So, make sure your hiring strategy reflects these principles and share content online that highlights the value your firm offers.

Network with organisations like INAA and refresh your hiring strategy

Here at INAA, we bring together accounting companies that strive to provide top-quality professional services around a shared vision to personalise global business and make it more accessible to businesses of all sizes and types. 

Our cooperative network of global companies is dedicated to advancing the benefits of highly skilled accounting with every industry shift.

Join now to form effective business connections and build the skills accountants need to thrive in the modern workplace.