Establish A Firm Culture That Attracts Top Talent

Employees have to earn the investment in their future by proving their loyalty to the firm through years of experience. This might be one of the biggest LIES in our industry right now and the #1 reason firms are facing recruiting and retention problems.


Accounting Today’s 2020 “Year Ahead” Survey showed that recruiting and retention is the top concern to firms for the coming year at a whopping 42% of firms sharing this concern. With a significant number of partners nearing retirement age, firms are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill these shoes. This, in turn, causes a snowball effect of problems when succession planning is not executed as planned or in a timely manner.


This entire recruiting and retention problem can be solved by changing the mindset of how and when we invest in our people. Firms leader say that employees are jumping from firm to firm or into a corporate role because they lack any sense of loyalty to their current employer. Gone are the days where you see someone with 15+ years at their current employer and firms are frustrated with such a high turnover rate.


But let me turn the question around. Why should employees stay at their current firm if the employer has not communicated a clear career path and invested in their development from the beginning? What are you doing as the employer to develop firm loyalty? These individuals know that it is a hot market for employees right now and have big dreams so why would they not consider an alternative that could potentially lead them to accomplish their goals sooner if you haven’t invested in them?


Loyalty is a two way street and if firms truly want to solve the recruiting and retention problem facing the industry now, the key is to invest in your people early. It is important to find out their goals and equip them for success at every stage in their career, not just once they are in a leadership position.


What happens when you invest in your employees? Here are some of the results you will see:

1. Firm loyalty

This is the first and most important result. If you provide training for your staff at each level that better equips them for their future, they will be more inclined to stay at their current firm. This doesn’t mean giving them general on-boarding and sending them to an update each year. This means that you get to know them, find out their goals and provide opportunities to support those goals that teach them in ways appropriate to the level in their career.

2. Encouraging and supportive culture

When individuals are confident in their future and know their career path, they are more likely to support others as well. This creates a collaborative environment that causes the entire firm to grow. It’s when individuals do not know what their future holds, they become competitive with peers and others in a negative way as opposed to lifting up the firm as a whole.

3. Employee referrals

Satisfied employees that enjoy their job are more likely to recommend the firm to others. This is especially true if you develop an exceptional program that supports students right out of school. Their network of candidates is a much larger pool and you will begin to get better and more qualified candidates to fill positions in your firm.


Think about it this way, if you invest in your people from the beginning, you get the opportunity to mold the future of your firm to exactly the way you envision. Start with a blank slate. Start with new hires out of school and build a culture that everyone wants to be a part of and that will build loyalty. Investing in your people will create employees that don’t want to leave. Start your investment early to challenge and train your people at each level and you will create an enviable culture that attracts and retains the absolute best talent in the industry.


If you are serious about changing the culture at your firm to start attracting and retaining the best talent, learn more here:



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