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Fishing for great staff in a tiny talent pool – is it possible?

18th Apr 2023
Brought to you by
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be aware of the major talent shortage that's ruffling feathers across the industry. 89% of CFOs are concerned about their company’s ability to attract skilled talent in the next 12 months and many firms are feeling the dragging ongoing need to attract top talent. 

But how can your firm stand out when it comes to recruitment? How can you make a salad without vegetables? How can you host a party without people? How can you fish from an empty ocean? (OK, we’ll stop the metaphors – for now!)  

Essentially, how can you recruit and retain quality staff when nobody’s even applying for roles in the first place? 

Believe it or not, there are some ways you can make your firm more appealing to candidates. While it’s not exactly flashing neon lights and a smoke machine outside the office door (but if you’re up for it, don’t let us stop you!), making an internal shift in your firm’s values and priorities could make all the difference. 

Sound a bit too abstract? We feel you – with a lot of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, it can hard enough just thinking about how to stay afloat in today’s world – but hear us out. When your firm takes on an ‘employee first’ approach, staff can feel it. And that respect, support and positivity spreads like wildfire, far beyond the office walls. Suddenly, your clients are getting a double whammy of good vibes – first from your excellent customer service and then again from your fantastic, motivated team. Happy staff = happy clients. 

Focus on soft skills 

Focusing on soft skills can be every bit as important as hard skills when it comes to finding top-notch employees. Sure, they might be able to do the work and get the job done, but do they have an attitude and work ethic that aligns with your company in the long run? A study showed that 70% of finance employers would consider hiring someone who doesn’t have the full suite of desirable skills with the aim of upskilling them

So, what attributes does your firm values? Ultimately, your staff represents your company when communicating externally. If your clients place a lot of value on the warmth, empathy and compassion from your customer support – what happens if a dispute arises with a client and they get a sterner approach than advertised? Make sure your values align before that any work is agreed on.

Or maybe, the qualities you’re looking for are right under your nose. Shine a spotlight on the MVPs in your firm. Employees who are positive, solution-oriented, and team players can be invaluable assets, and upskilling them to help in other departments can be a solid solution. Sharing this commitment to employee growth and development can also appeal to ambitious candidates on the hunt for their perfect employer. 

Offer work-life balance perks 

It's no secret that work-life balance is a factor skyrockets employee satisfaction, especially given that 41% of professionals list it as second only to salary in importance. So, what perks can you offer regarding this? One of the most obvious is flexible working arrangements – including hybrid, remote, or flexitime. 

An attractive benefits package is also an essential aspect of recruitment. It could refer to the standard insurances, leave, bonuses, and company perks such as office spaces, refreshments, or new hardware that is in vogue. To attract and retain the best employees, a company must provide a solid and competitive benefits package that is generous and comprehensive. 

Highlight how you make the world a better place 

What’s your firm doing to make a difference in the world? Potential candidates aren’t just looking for jobs as a means to an end anymore. An amazing 83% of professionals believe one of the most important considerations when searching for a new job is whether an organisation has a strong sense of purpose

Address important matters like DEI and ESG – demonstrating how your firm is creating a more inclusive and sustainable world. If you’re engaging in any social or environmental activities like volunteer work or steps to reduce your carbon footprint (or have any intentions in the pipeline) spread the word. 79% of job seekers say they’re likely to use social media in their job search and this increases to 86% for younger job seekers, so make sure you use these social media platforms to promote these values as much as you can.  

Utilise voices in your company too. Which staff members emulate your firm’s work atmosphere and culture? Who raves about the creamy coffee or comfy chairs in the office? Ask if they can share their personal experiences, job descriptions, and benefits of working in your firm on a platform like Glassdoor. Seeing how great your company is to work for can help attract potential candidates while strengthening the relationship with your existing employees too. 

Got time for a glow up? 

Talent is hard to come by, but with the right environment and culture you can attract the right people. On top of that, upgrading your tech stack is crucial if you want to attract new staff. Gen-Z, the latest generation to step into the workforce, are turned off by outdated systems at work, with 20% having quit their jobs because of the “useless” technology at work. Not only that, but almost half of them would consider leaving their jobs due to outdated or difficult-to-use tools at work – this includes technology being too slow, too old, and lack of tools to help with time-consuming tasks. It’s plain as day – giving your firm’s tech a glow up is a no-brainer. 

Here at Bright, we’re on a mission to make a happy and efficient working life a reality for accountants through reliable software and amazing support. Interested in learning more about what we have to offer? Book a demo of our multi-award-winning software solutions for tax, compliance, practice management and payroll below.