3 Ways to Attract Millennials to your Accounting Firm

Is your accounting firm attractive to the type of people in this the photo above? Most aren’t. Which is why it’s important to understand what makes these people tick in order to attract millennials to your accounting firm.

Since recruitment and retention of key employees is often listed as the top challenge facing accounting firms and since the millennial generation (and soon to be Gen Z) are the ones ruling the roost when it comes to employment, you need to get a grasp of how to recruit and retain these individuals. Deloitte set out to do just this in their recent 2018 survey of more than 10,000 millennials from 36 different countries.

Below are 3 takeaways from that survey that can help attract millennials to your accounting firm and to retain them.

Takeaway #1: Business success should be measured by more than financial performance

Purpose is incredibly important for millennials. A job is not just a job anymore. It’s about feeling connected to the organization that you are working for and believing in what they’re trying to achieve.

When an organization only talks about numbers and profits, millennials will lose interest, fast.

To attract quality candidates to your firm, you will need to advertise your “why” in your recruitment process and ensure that it’s front and center. If you just advertise a job that’s about churning out tax returns, you will have a harder time than a firm that advertises themselves as one that wants to innovate in service delivery and one that seeks team involvement to help drive that (along with producing tax returns!).

The same goes for retaining these individuals as well. Talking about your purpose rather than just your profits is incredibly important in order to attract millennials to your accounting firm.

Takeaway #2: Flexibility enhances loyalty

A few decades ago, when you landed a job, you stayed in that job, for a long time. The same is certainly not true today as most millennials bounce around quite a bit more than of their previous generations. Company loyalty is difficult. According to the survey, over 40% of millennials expect to change jobs in less than 2 years. Wow.

How do you improve this?

Offer them a ton of flexibility. Don’t breathe down their neck, don’t track every 5 minutes of their day & give them the freedom they’re looking for to manage their own time & schedule. Hold them accountable for results (ie. the output), not the inputs such as their time (in fact, I ran my firm without timesheets for the past 5 years).

With the technology that we have today, it’s easy for people to work from wherever they want and to expect the same level of quality. In-person meetings are no longer as important with tools like Skype, Slack and Zoom. In fact, our firm, Xen Accounting, prefers to work remotely rather than in-person, it’s actually a lot more efficient. Flexibility driven by technology is critical in helping attract millennials to your accounting firm.

Give millennials a ton of free-reign to work how they want to work and where they want to work and setup the overarching framework for the results and you will see people, especially millennials, joining your firm and staying with your firm partly because of this. In fact, this is one of the key perks offered at Xen Accounting that the millennial bunch just love.

Takeaway #3: Millennials want professional development training, but not the typical kind

The buzzwords right now are artificial intelligence, blockchain and machine learning. Everywhere you turn, there are articles talking about how this technology will put people out of a job. Millennials understand that there are shifts happening in the technological landscape that can impact their careers, and as such, they are seeking assistance from their employers with regards to professional development.

The type of professional development that they are used to getting is not what they’re actually seeking however. Typically, the kind of professional development they get is around improving technical skills, such as learning about new accounting standards, tax rulings, etc. Don’t get me wrong, this stuff is still important, and they still crave this kind of knowledge. As technology improves however, it can be argued that technical knowledge starts to become less important than learning about stuff like improving soft-skills, how to use new technology and more creative areas. Millennials get this and they want to make sure that they are not only learning the technical parts of the trade, but to also develop in areas where the future of the profession is heading: technology and soft skills.

As such, firms should ensure that they not only have technical trainings in place, but also ensure that they are preparing their team for the future requirements, where soft skills and knowledge of new technology become more and more important for their careers.

More gems in the survey itself

For those interested in hearing more about what the survey has to say in order to clue you in to other ways on how to attract millennials to your accounting firm, you can click here to access the report.

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3 Ways to Attract Millennials to your Accounting Firm

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