As a Managing Partner or a Human Resources professional for a Small CPA Firm, hiring new staff can be stressful. With budgetary constraints, limited resources, and Big Firm Competition, there are plenty of factors working against you. One thing to keep in mind is that many Accounting students and CPA Exam Takers have the goal of getting a job in a Big Four Accounting Firm. The key to recruiting these students is to focus on the advantages your Small Firm can offer over these big firms:
Small CPA Firms can offer a more personal, friendly environment than a Large CPA Firm. With everyone typically on a first-name basis, lifelong friendships and connections are created. This is especially beneficial to a candidate seeking their first job as a CPA. The relatively more relaxed work environment promotes learning on the job without the extreme pressure experienced at a larger CPA Firm. Also, there will be opportunity to talk face-to-face with a client, building interpersonal skills that are of the utmost importance later in any young professional's career.
Diversity of Work
As any Small Firm CPA knows, there are a variety of client-related tasks to perform on a daily basis in a Small Firm. For a young CPA, the exposure to all different types of tasks will help them grow as a professional. This can be used as a key selling point at the beginning of the interview process for a recruiter.
Depending on your firm's individual Work/Life Balance policies, the employee is given more freedom in a Small Firm versus in a Large Firm. If your firm offers flexible scheduling during non-peak seasons or flextime/work from home programs, be sure to mention it to prospective employees from the get go.
Need to update your firms work/life balance policies?
Check out How CPAs Can Acheive Work/Life Balance for some suggestions
As a Small Firm, it is extremely important to get out and recruit. Attending local university career fairs and expos is a start, but to differentiate your firm from the others, you may consider contacting the Accounting Department/Business School and ask to sponsor an event at the university. Also, building relationships with Professors in the Accounting department can be vital to finding the right "fit" for your vacant position because of the knowledge they possess about the student's work ethic day in and day out. Employing these strategies could lead to the discovery of someone who can help your firm get to the next level of success.