Working abroad has, for a long while been regarded as a good thing for an accountant’s CV. Yet 2016 could be the year we witness more of those in the profession leaving their job and jet-setting off to boost their career. Simon Wright, operations director at CareersinAudit.com tells us why and how to prevent a mass exodus of accountants.
Bosses in practice or industry watch out! You could be at risk of losing vital talent within your organisation. According to our annual research conducted among more than 1700 accountants, more than a third are actively looking for a new job with this rising to nearly two thirds over the next six to 12 months. And this year there is an even bigger and better reason than wanting better pay or a promotion: To work abroad. Many now believe there are much better job prospects overseas and also a superior work life/balance.
The reality is that many firms on home turf can provide equally good job prospects and, if they are not already, look at flexible working practices to ensure employees have a better work/life balance. In some instances there will be nothing you can do to keep your star performer. Everyone likes a change from time to time. However, if your company has an international network in place, or associates you can call on, then make sure you have regular career discussions so you can gauge interest and be in a position to offer a secondment abroad. Even if your company is small you might want to consider getting in touch with your contacts abroad to see what opportunities can be created for some of your staff. Being pro-active on this front means you’re more likely to keep a loyal employee who will return after their international sojourn, rather than you picking up the pieces of a resignation letter.
But it’s not all about the high achievers – it’s also about recognising the need to nurture others who may not have yet shown their full potential. Year on year, the majority of accountants (two thirds) admit that their company fails to offer a structured career path. With no promotion or pay rise in sight, is it any wonder staff often feel despondent and start looking for work elsewhere?
It’s also worth remembering that your staff also want to enjoy getting out of bed, not only for the work but the perks and non-financial benefits that come with the job. Organising a few social events – drinks, dinner or even an outing down the local bowling alley can go some way to creating a fun company culture. And perhaps even persuading employees that the grass is not always greener by jumping on the plane.