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© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC1 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 B EST P RACTICES 2013 W ISHFUL T HINKING W ON ’ T D O I T : G ETTING THE B EST T ALENT P RESENTED BY D EV W ARREN C ONSULTANT AT U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC2 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 Attracting and hiring today’s top talent requires more than a career fair booth and lots of wishful thinking. If you don’t have a clear strategy and a solid plan for implementing that strategy, you’ll be hiring whoever happens to come along.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC3 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 F ORGETTING THE N UMBERS G AME Firms that are high performing recognize the cost and mental stress of playing the numbers game. Instead of doing that, they focus on (and adapt their efforts to) recruiting a higher level employee. They recognize the long-term cost/benefit ratio of hiring such individuals.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC4 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 O VERVIEW 1.Your Reality 2.Approaches to the Three Main Paths to Recruiting 3.What Today’s Recruits Want to Hear 4.Takeaway and Discussion
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC5 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 Y OUR R EALITY
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC6 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 When we talk about recruiting, the most common statement we hear is: “We try to get the best we can for a firm our size.” What does that mean? Is there a level of talent that is out of reach? Why? R ECRUITING FOR AN HPF
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC7 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 Y OUR R EALITY The number one thing you can do to improve your recruiting efforts is to ACCEPT your honest reality, or CHANGE it. You may not be able to attract from every school You may not be able to get talent to come straight from college You may not have a firm that can compete with the Big 4 and super regionals Your best shot at getting talent may be to look for talent leaving other firms
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC8 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 A PPROACHES TO THE T HREE M AIN P ATHS TO R ECRUITING
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC9 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 R URAL AND S MALL M ARKETS Most rural and small markets have a challenge getting people fresh out of college to “come home.” By adapting and adjusting your expectations, you may find that the best solution is to recruit 25-30 year olds who have experienced the big city and want to come home to raise a family.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC10 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 R URAL AND S MALL M ARKETS What is most important when recruiting these types of accountants back to your area? Family first Stability long-term Reputation in the community Ability to work with friends and family Limited drama Life/work flexibility
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC11 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 R URAL AND S MALL M ARKETS Where do you find these types of people? Clients are in contact with them personally Your staff is in contact with them personally Facebook through local connections LinkedIn targeted advertising Presence in your area (i.e.. “The” firm to work for)
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC12 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 R URAL AND S MALL M ARKETS What would need to change at your firm to accommodate a shift from having lots of entry level staff to instead having more advanced staff and supervisors?
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC13 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 T HE C OLLEGE A PPROACH Working with college professors to identify the best talent and get the chance to recruit them is more than half the battle. Professor recommendations carry substantial weight with students. Professors are often the most influential people in the process. Sell the professors on your firm and they will sell you to their students.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC14 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 H AVE A G REAT I NTERNSHIP P ROGRAM A great internship program looks like this: 1.Allows recruits a chance to work with real clients in real time. 2.Minimizes any admin assignments. 3.Treats interns as entry level staff by providing them with the training and tools they need to succeed.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC15 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 H AVE A G REAT I NTERNSHIP P ROGRAM 4.Gives them a billing rate that engagement managers can live with. 5.Gives them opportunities to see a variety of services for a long enough time to allow them to be successful. 6.Provides them with meaningful feedback every two to three weeks. 7.Sells them on the experience partners have and clearly explains the path to achieve it.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC16 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 C OMMIT TO S CHOOLS Often firms recruit from too many schools and are spread too thin. Focus on the schools that produce the type of people you want and be committed to those accounting programs. Hire interns every year and seek the best. Form a strong bond with the professors at these schools.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC17 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 L EADERSHIP F ORUM Consider creating a 1-2 day leadership forum for the top students (identified by professors) to identify the best and brightest. At the conclusion of the leadership forum, invite the stars in the program to become interns very early – sophomores and juniors if possible.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC18 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 L EADERSHIP F ORUM The more structured your internship process, the sooner you can begin identifying the “keepers.” The best should be paid substantially more than market. To justify it, just look at your attrition rate of 1-5 year people. Twenty percent over market is a BARGAIN when you factor that in.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC19 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 Realize that the average professional will have 18+ jobs in his/her career, which means EVERYONE is looking. Your best people most likely already know their best people… …Send them after them. Pay your internal people like recruiters for bringing in people who will stay long-term. E XPERIENCED A CCOUNTANT A PPROACH
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC20 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 Embrace the benefit of paying more for a superstar from day one. Performance-based pay systems with the potential for substantial bonuses will attract young high performers. Allow them to control their income with their performance. A PPROACH T O R ECRUITING
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC21 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 A PPROACH T O R ECRUITING Utilize your firm’s vision to get recruits to buy into the long-term value of being a member of the firm. This will almost certainly separate your firm from their current employer.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC22 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 W HAT T ODAY ’ S R ECRUITS W ANT TO H EAR
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC23 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 H OW I T N ORMALLY S OUNDS When recruits visit most firms, they hear: We provide excellent client service We believe in work-life balance We have nice people to work with You have the opportunity to work with a lot of clients Our compensation is competitive We have a good benefits package We allow time for you to get your CPA
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC24 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 H OW I T S HOULD S OUND At an HPF, this is what recruits should hear: You will be taught to become a most trusted advisor for clients We have a clear path to partner You have the ability to directly contribute to the firm’s vision You’ll receive direction and support to become an expert in something you’re passionate about
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC25 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 H OW I T S HOULD S OUND We have a positive firm culture You will have opportunities to interact with and influence clients immediately You will have regular exposure to partners, top talent and experts You will receive regular constructive feedback on your performance
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC26 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 Today’s recruits want to be client consultants, not back room return processors. Opportunities to do this are extremely rare in many firms. Training staff to be consultants from the start will emphasize the firm’s vision of serving clients as trusted advisors. C ONSULTING, N OT P ROCESSING
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC27 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 High performing recruits want a clear path to partner, a path based on development, not tenure. They want this explained on day one and not shrouded in mystery. You don’t need to promise they will become partners, just that they will have the opportunity based on skill development and individual and firm performance. C LEAR P ATH TO P ARTNER
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC28 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 Today’s recruits want to contribute directly to the vision of the firm, both as individuals and as team members. They want to understand the impact of their daily work on the vision and future of the firm. They want their value to be measured by more than billable hours. V ISION AND I MPACT
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC29 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 They will still need to be agile and multi- talented, but will be encouraged to focus on their strengths. F IND P ASSION A ND M AKE E XPERTS They want the firm to encourage and support them in becoming experts in something they are passionate about.
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC30 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 The atmosphere and culture of the firm is critical. High performing and engaged people draw others to them who are like-minded. Keeping low performers in the firm to process D-level work can hinder your ability to attract top level recruits. N O O NE W ANTS TO C ARRY A S LACKER
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC31 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 The ability to interact and influence clients immediately is a driver for top performers. Putting recruits in front of clients should begin during their internships. I MPORTANCE OF C LIENT I NTERACTION
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC32 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 They want a direct and personal connection to the firm’s leadership group (partners and executive committee) – something they can’t get in most firms, especially the Big 4. They want to be able to work alongside some of the firm’s top talent. They want to learn directly from the firm’s experts in their areas of interest. L EARNING FROM THE B EST
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC33 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 They want regular constructive feedback on their performance, not just review notes. Focus feedback on growing strengths and setting stretch goals. Reviews shouldn’t just be complimentary, but instead should focus and grow the individual. R EAL G OALS AND R EAL F EEDBACK
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC34 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 T AKEAWAY AND D ISCUSSION
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC35 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 Recruiting the best in today’s market requires you to abandon traditional methods, understand what makes people tick, and embrace your reality or change it. High performers want to work for high performers. That supersedes traditional factors we have dealt with in the past. T AKEAWAY
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC36 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 T EAM D ISCUSSION What have you done to get schools to send you their best and brightest? What are your competitors doing better than you are to recruit the top talent? Is it feasible to pay a higher starting salary for those who have a higher probability of being in it for the long term?
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC37 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 T EAM D ISCUSSION Recruiting plays a significant role in your ability to become an HPF, just as drafting players in the NFL plays a major role in creating high performance teams. What characteristics are most important to be successful in your firm? Do you need to change that list of characteristics?
© 2013 U PSTREAM A CADEMY, LLC38 B EST P RACTICES C ONFERENCE 2013 Thank you for your time and your input today. Please feel free to follow up with questions or comments directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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