The American Institute of CPAs tracks accounting trends and releases reports on some of the most important issues facing the industry. As of December 2015, one of the most pressing issues is the need to find a new source of public accountants. With young professionals leaving the field, accounting firms need to revamp their recruiting strategies and look for innovative ways to fill an increased number of open positions.
In 2008, the Economic Intelligence Unit released a report stating traditional recruiting approaches are not as effective as they used to be. Companies need to resort to out-of-the-box ideas to attract talented employees with just the right skills. Unfortunately, it's difficult to generate organization-wide support for new initiatives. Trying new recruiting tactics also costs money and takes time away from screening resumes, conducting phone screens and performing other necessary recruiting activities.
Recruiters in the accounting industry are having a particularly tough time finding and keeping the right employees. Accounting firms struggle to retain their best employees while keeping costs in check. Firms are also having trouble dealing with the high cost of benefits and the desire to offer attractive compensation packages to talented public accountants. Outsourcing is also an issue for public accountants, as there are not as many well-compensated jobs available with some firms.
There are several reasons it is difficult to find and keep the right public accountants. Some of those reasons relate to generational changes in the workforce. Members of Generation X are already at the age where they are considering career changes. Millennials now make up a significant part of the labor pool, but some employers have concerns about millennial work habits. Members of Generation Y tend to have unrealistic expectations, causing some of them to change jobs frequently. Recruiters in the accounting industry need to be aware of these generational changes and do their best to work around them.
One of the biggest accounting trends of 2015 is the exodus of younger workers from the industry. Young professionals are leaving accounting firms in pursuit of other jobs, leaving recruiters scrambling to fill an unprecedented number of open positions. One way you might be able to fill jobs at your firm is by making an effort to attract mid-level career changers. If young accountants are leaving the industry, there's a good chance millennials in other industries are also dissatisfied with their jobs. You can capitalize on this trend by paying for career changers to become public accountants.
Finding the right employees is always a challenge, but it's especially difficult when talented workers are leaving the industry in favor of other careers. If your firm needs to hire more public accountants, think about recruiting career changers and paying for them to obtain the necessary professional credentials.
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