According to a recent article on Fast Company, 70% of today’s workforce is actively looking for another job or is open to hearing about a new job opportunity.

Another study tells us that a recent college graduate will hold between 15 to 20 jobs in their career. That means they are going to change jobs every three to four years. They will always be looking.

This certainly does not paint a rosy picture for CPA firm leaders. Growing firms hire extensively from the college campus and invest significant dollars in the first three years of their career in training and development. For them to leave at the end of three years is an expensive scenario. At three years, they are just at the point where they can be really productive.

Here are some trends:

Job boards are no longer the primary source used by job seekers. Job seekers, along with employers, are looking via social networking sites. Even the recruiters (the ones your firm has relied on) are finding their candidates via LinkedIn. According to a recent survey, 79% of recruiters said they found candidates via LinkedIn. 26% found candidates through Facebook and 14% via Twitter. Firm leaders are telling me that the recruiters are presenting to them the same people that they can find on LinkedIn themselves.

Here’s an important trend to follow for CPA firms. Employers will target marketing to job seekers. Accounting firms must invest in building an employer brand, just like they invest in building a brand to attract new tax and accounting clients. CPA firms can develop action steps for retention by surveying their people and talking to their people to determine what they need to do to become the CPA firm employer of choice in their market. What kind of impression does your website make on a potential new hire? It seems that the investment in, and focus on, building a unique career page on accounting firm websites no longer has the attention it had several years ago.

In-person networking is back. Since the social media space is so crowded, it’s now unique to network in person. Young people intent on building their careers and finding career opportunities are focused on building a base of “people they know.”

Do they know you and your firm? Are your people “out there” networking to identify future new hires as well as potential new clients?

In the world of public accounting it is all about the number of people you know. Using social media is key but so is face-to-face networking.


About the Author

RitaRita Keller is the Founder of Keller Advisors, LLC and SurveyCPA, LLC. She is a widely respected voice to CPA firm management. Through her presentations and workshops, she interacts with thousands of accountants annually.  Named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People In Accounting and one of The Most Powerful Women In Accounting, she acts as an advisor and coach to CPA firm leaders across the country.  She can be reached at rkeller@ritakeller.com.

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