As a coach, mentor and consultant for accounting firm owners and managers I regularly get feedback on the issues firms are facing. There is no question that the number one issue across firms at present is attracting and retaining the right people. In this part 1 of 4 articles on the topic I start by looking at who the right people are, why they are important and how we find ourselves in this unenviable position.
Who are the right people?
My view is the right people:
- Have the skills and experience you need
- Have the right attitude and personal attributes – they are a cultural fit
- Contribute to the success of your firm – allow you to realise your vision
- Are liked by you and you want to work with them
- Want to work with you
Why the right people matter:
- They are one of your competitive advantages
- The wrong people do huge damage to your firm, both in respect of clients and colleagues
- A bad hire is worse than no hire
Why attraction and retention matters:
- Without a team you don’t have an accounting firm, you are a sole trader
- It supports growth and allows you to realise your vision
- High cost of churn
- Clients don’t like churn
- It costs time and money to hire a new person
- It costs time and money to get them up to speed
- Estimates of the cost range between 1 to 3 times the annual salary of the person who left
- Can lead to a negative cycle – when churn is high it encourages others to think about their situation
How did we get to this current position?
I’ve summarised my view in the diagram below. Let me know if you agree.
In part 2 of 4 next month, I’ll write about the things I believe attract people to firms and contribute to them staying. Meantime, feel free to share any thoughts with me – [email protected].