In 2009, our client, Accounting Help, a small but growing London-based accounting practice which focuses on tech and web based companies was ready to take on its first permanent employee.
As usual, the first stage was to meet the owner to learn about the business and understand the brief. The owner’s background was diverse and somewhat different from many accountants in practice. Following a long career in international business, he had set his own management consultancy in 2003. The consultancy business formed the base for the new accounting practice.
Our brief was to find a newly qualified accountant who possessed strong bookkeeping, accounting skills as well as basic tax knowledge who could develop into a manager in time. A key requirement was that they could work closely with the practice owner and also in a client facing role. They had a tight salary budget to work on.
Other than the salary budget and basic requirements, our client was extremely open about the sort of person required and left us to come up with a short-list, thus minimising the time and disruption he had to spend on the hiring process.
However this role was challenging because many newly -qualified candidates, tend to aim towards larger practices, in the belief that they will be given greater opportunity to grow and develop, making it difficult to attract good candidates to smaller practices.
A key aspect of attracting the right calibre of the candidate was to focus on the positive aspects of the role of which we identified. We marketed the role on the opportunity to work in a practice which was focusing in the tech sector, the diverse and great wealth of the owner’s experience, the strong client facing aspect and the clear path for growth within the firm. This approach enabled us to identify several strong candidates who were excited about the opportunity. After we presented our short-list, a favourite candidate emerged who exactly fitted the brief.
Six years later, the person hired is now a manager overseeing three trainees in what is now a well-established and growing practice.
This hire is an example of how we put considerable effort to find the right candidate for each client.