Accounting candidates are in an excellent position right now. With skill shortages plaguing the industry, there are more opportunities to move to great roles and firms than ever before. Moreover, you have more freedom about how you choose to work, with remote and hybrid roles emerging everywhere.
However, just because you have many options doesn't mean defining the ideal firm to join is easy. Countless factors can influence whether a business is a good fit for you and your skills. Fail to consider them carefully, and you could end up in a role that doesn't suit you.
Researching potential employers and the accounting firms you're considering joining helps ensure you take the right next step in your career plan. Here's how you can get started.
Before You Start Your Job Search
Preparation is key when searching for any new role. Rather than simply browsing endless job descriptions in search of something that mentions your accounting qualifications, you should go on the journey with a clear action plan.
Start by defining exactly what you want as a candidate. What kind of career path are you working towards? Is there a specific role or certain duties within a role you're most drawn towards? Are you looking for a firm that can help you work your way up through the ranks to a leadership position, or are you ready to start a management job immediately?
Working with an accounting recruitment company can be an excellent way to improve your chances of creating an effective plan. Your accounting recruiter can discuss your career goals and help you define what you should be looking for in terms of benefits, remuneration, culture and more.
What's more, once you've defined your plan with your accounting recruiter, they'll be able to position you in front of the right companies, boosting your chances of the best job offer.
The 5 Signs of an Amazing Accounting Firm
With your career plan in hand, you'll be able to start sorting your employment options with more focus. The accounting industry job market is booming and most of our accounting firm clients are currently hiring and seeking talented candidates. Here are the signs to look for when narrowing your options.
Most of today's employees are looking for more than just a good salary from their employer. They also want meaningful work which resonates with their values. Around 42% of employees say they think it's important for an employer to be diverse, inclusive, and equitable, according to a recent Gallup survey. A further 43% of candidates say they're attracted to a new job based on meaningful work.
Take the time to research the accounting firm's core mission statement and its vision for the future. Find what it's aiming towards, what kind of goals it's setting, and how every team member plays a part. Researching the company will help you to determine whether it's focused on values similar to your own, such as innovation or diversity.
You can also read reviews and testimonials from previous employees on places like Glassdoor and ourselves as established recruiting experts in the field.
Strong Company Culture
46% of job seekers say company culture is important when deciding where they should work. A further 86% of candidates also say they actively avoid a company with a bad reputation. A company's culture refers to everything from its approach to work to how it treats its employees.
When seeking out good company culture, it's worth looking for evidence you'll be appreciated in your role. Stories published by the firm's website about rewards given to high-performing team members show a commitment to good recognition.
Opportunities for Growth
While there's always a chance you may need to move between different companies and roles to reach your career goals, every accounting firm you work with should contribute to your growth. Having plenty of opportunities to learn sector-focused and transferrable skills will ensure you can continue expanding your knowledge over time.
Look for evidence that the company in question is willing to train you on using new technologies and strategies as they emerge within your industry. It's also worth discovering whether there's room for lateral movement in your business as your expertise increases.
Find out whether team members are regularly offered promotions and opportunities to take on new challenges. This shows potential for a long future with the business and can give you a better sense of the stability and security your role can offer.
While good remuneration is important for anyone looking for the ideal job, it's important to think beyond the salary. The benefits offered by an accounting firm give you an insight into what you can look forward to if you decide to join the team.
In today's skill-short marketplace, many employers are beginning to offer a wider range of benefits, particularly in relation to flexibility and ongoing work from home options. If you're looking for the opportunity to work in a hybrid or remote environment, it's important to check if the company can offer this.
Usually, you'll be able to learn more about the benefits a company can offer by checking the job description, visiting the firm's "Careers" page on its website, and speaking to your recruiter. You can also ask about benefits during a job interview.
Excellent leadership and good employee retention often go hand-in-hand for most businesses. This is because accounting employees rely on their leaders to provide motivation, support, and guidance. If you know the leadership team in your chosen business is innovative, emotionally intelligent, and transparent, you're more likely to feel comfortable in your role.
A good way to learn about a company's leadership practices is to check its website for stories about group accomplishments and business growth. You can also read the bio for the leaders of your potential team on the "About Us" page.
Asking for an opportunity to speak to the people you're going to be working with during the interview stage is also a good way to get a good idea of how they communicate and their general work ethic.
Hedley Scott Recruitment offer complimentary and confidential career conversations. Contact one of our team here.