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The Great Debate at FAB AccountingWEB Attract Gen Z by rethinking your practice strategy

Rethink your practice strategy to attract Gen Z


With many businesses struggling to recruit, James Wright spoke at FAB about changing strategy by learning how to integrate social media and building an online presence. Not only will it help attract the younger generation but it can also promote growth and innovation.

25th Mar 2024
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James Wright, an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualified senior lecturer and programme leader for the University of Lincoln, has developed a platform on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok where he documents his journey, answers accountancy questions and shares job opportunities. 

He spoke at the Festival of Accounting & Bookkeeping (FAB) earlier this month on transforming accounting for the next generation and why it is important that businesses are constantly changing to stay relevant in today’s rapidly changing landscape. 

“If you want to grow your personal brand and business and you are not on these platforms, you are at a disadvantage,” Wright said. 

Gen Z’s approach to employment

Wright spoke about how applying for jobs has changed for the younger generation and why companies need to adapt. “I used to ring up practices when I wanted a new job or I even used to go into the practice and speak to someone face to face,” shared Wright. 

“The younger generation is going through different processes now. Everything is done online. They will use websites like Glassdoor to see whether your company is somewhere they’d like to work.”

Staying up to date with this digital shift is crucial for companies to understand how they are being perceived but also to remain appealing to potential recruits. 

“Start thinking from their side rather than yours – it will lead to greater productivity and retention,” Wright advised. 

Not only has the application process changed but also what the next generation wants out of their work.

“If I were running my own practice, I would prioritise understanding the expectations of the individuals I want to attract. Among these expectations, a suitable work-life balance ranks high. Prospective candidates want to work for companies that will accommodate this preference. If you won’t provide it, another competitor will.”

Businesses need to recognise and address these expectations to attract and retain employees. 

Why build a social media presence?

In the Q&A portion of the session, a popular question people had was why they need to build a social media presence.

“The youngsters today are searching for the answers to their questions on these social media platforms. You will miss out on talent by not engaging with them on these platforms,” Wright answered. 

He spoke about his experiences on social media and shared the impact that it has had. “I posted a TikTok on how much you get paid on HMRC’s graduate scheme. That was the first two seconds of my video. I then went through the website, talked about the pay and gave them a link. That video was seen by 110,000 people,” said Wright. 

Urging others to understand the reach of social media, Wright said that platforms such as Instagram and TikTok enable companies to engage with talent quickly and effectively.

Wright said, “I post on TikTok and I get questions from teenagers all the time because they are scared to ask people. They would rather ask ChatGPT questions like, ‘What is it like to be an accountant?’

“To retain talent, you could put some content out yourself. Give some clarity on your website, what opportunities you offer and answer those questions that a lot of young people have about the accounting profession,” he added. 

There can be some reluctance to build an online presence past LinkedIn, but with a lot of companies now making the move onto TikTok and Instagram, it’s evident that it can greatly boost brand visibility and interactions. 

Replies (2)

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By FactChecker
25th Mar 2024 23:38

Article is all about James Wright and his opinions (fair enough);
... so why is the photo of my old mucker, Ian Holloway?

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Replying to FactChecker:
Molly Macfarlane
By Molly Macfarlane
26th Mar 2024 09:21

Both James and Ian were on the panel but Ian was facilitating discussion points for James :)

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