In today's world of millennial accountants, many firms are asking themselves, "What do young people and new hires to the profession want their career to look like?" As a result, many firms are restructuring their perks and benefits to attract young new hires and also retain them. And it isn't always a corner office with a view.
In an article written by Jody Padar, CPA, she states:
The other day, as I was browsing LinkedIn, I saw a job advertisement for a tax manager. Now I can honestly say I know nothing about the firm or even the location, but the first three words in the ad made me stop dead in my tracks (and no, I’m not looking for a new job.) 'Beautiful Downtown Office.' I read those three words as stifling, painful, and horrifying. But what shocked me the most is how 'old school' firm management believes this is important. Important enough for it to be the first three words in an ad intended to catch a new hire. What is wrong with this picture, firm, and our profession? Regular readers of my column know work is no longer a place you go. It’s what you do, who you are, and a lifestyle. A job is not 'location based' - especially at the manager level. Yet, this 'old school' firm believes that a downtown office is something a 'tax manager' level professional would choose."
According to Accounting Today, in the top 25 firms, there are 217,000 employees.
That means over 80% of accountants don't work for large firms. They work for companies and firms that have all sorts of different company environments and cultures. So what is important to young people?
For those who have gone through the recruitment process and are currently interns or entry level staff at a firm, you may have chosen this firm for any one of the following reasons:
- They paid attention to you
- They courted you
- They showed interest in you
- They believed in you and your potential
If you chose these reasons more than pay or prestige, you're not alone.
In the survey "15 Things Bean Counter Readers Want From Firms," we see that young millennial accountants want more than just high pay, prestige, or an office with a view. Here's what they had to say:
- Great company culture
- Work life balance
- Advancement opportunities
- Great learning environment & training
- Care about me as a person, not just a “faceless employee”
- Enthusiastic employees who are excited about their job and the people they work with
- Ability to travel
- Good benefits
- Good compensation
- Helps me to grow into the best professional I can be
- International assignments
- Staying current with technology
- Forensic accounting opportunities
- Community service
The first two are hitting on exactly what Jody is talking about.
The truth is, young people are becoming more and more valuable as technology continues to make accounting and auditing easier. Young people increasingly want a firm that's hip, allows flexible or remote work, and is in tune with what's important to young people today.
A corner office, a nice pension, and office parties aren't as relevant as they were in the "Mad Men" days.