I have just presented a webinar for our coachingclub members on the topic of finding and retaining great team members. Here is a grab bag of the ideas I went through to help accountants improve in this area:
1. Overhaul your website and your brand. The first thing a potential new hire will do is check you out and Google. That’s your first impression. The second impression is when they turn up to your office. What do you look like? Staid, boring, same as the rest – or a cut above?
2. Your office – is it dull, dreary, a typical accountants’ office? Or does it feel hip, cool and groovy?
3. Your advert – read your job ads with your prospective team members’ eyes on. What have you written that will compel them to want to find out more about you?
4. Your interview process. Is it ‘same same’ or do you do something different from other firms? For example, how about getting multiple candidates in at once to present to you, your team and their competition?
5. Broaden your scope. Having trouble hiring accountants or grads with accounting degrees? Why not hire non-accountants (for certain services) or grads with non-relevant degrees. In 1987 I joined the graduate program of a UK firm. I was one of four grads taken on. None of us had an accounting degree. One is now a partner in that firm; another the managing partner of a different firm. Think differently
6. Get your team involved. In your interviews; on your website; how about a brochure with little case studies and stories from team members that you give to each candidate?
7. Credo, values and service standards. What are yours? What do you stand for? How do you share these with candidates?
8. Resources – what resources do you use with clients to help them in interesting and valuable ways? Show candidates what you do, how you do it and how your clients benefit
9. Social media – embrace it rather than banning or restricting it. At the very least, get yourself a corporate Facebook page and show it to your candidates. You want to be seen as leading edge, not in the ark
10. LOTS of marketing – it creates new clients, which in turn create energy, a feel good factor and new challenges and opportunities for your team. Show candidates your marketing activity calendar
11. Seminars – do them, regularly, and invite team members
12. Value based work – find ways to involve accountants in this work, rather than just partners delivering it
13. Team advances – at least every six months take the whole team away to do some planning, bonding and relaxing. (You might know these as team retreats!)
14. Accountability – daily. Good people thrive in an environment of high accountability. Hold daily stand up meetings where each person reports in on what they will achieve that day
15. Provide exposure to clients early in the piece. When you find a good team member, get them client facing quickly. They will get bored being kept in the back room crunching numbers
16. Share your coachingclub journey. Let your team know the projects you have committed to, the targets you have set and the priorities for the upcoming quarter
17. Incentives – find a friend. If a team member introduces a friend or colleague who is subsequently hired, reward them
18. Rewards and celebrations. Set challenging quarterly targets. When you achieve them, have a riotous party
19. Complete your learning modules. Our coachingclub members have access to video based training programs on team building. Use what you have at your disposal
20. MOST IMPORTANTLY – to keep the right people on your team, you need to get the wrong people OFF your team. Stop procrastinating about that problem team member and pull the trigger early