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Graduate neglect leads to lacklustre mid-level talent


The accounting industry has done itself a disservice in neglecting graduate recruitment in the recent past, resulting in a lack of mid-level talent now according to the managing partner of Pitcher Partners Sydney.

By Lara Bullock2 minute read

Speaking to Accountants Daily, Pitcher Partners Sydney managing partner Rob Southwell said that there is a concerning talent gap in the industry.


“As an industry we've probably hurt ourselves a little bit in the last couple of years, particularly the big four and the mid-tier firms, there was a big slow down in graduate recruitment, maybe not in the last 18 months but prior to that,” Mr Southwell said.

“We’re really feeling that in the marketplace now that those qualified people with a couple of years' experience are missing.”

Mr Southwell said that Pitcher Partners Sydney identified this issue, and has since put in strategies to mitigate future risk. 

Firstly, they’re looking to ramp up their graduate intake so that even if not all are retained, they still have the numbers required going on to that crucial two-to-three year experience stage.

“One of those is making sure we have a really good intake of cadets and graduates every year such that we do have that talent pool in three-to-four years' time,” he said.

“Planting the seeds now so we have an abundance in the future.”

The other focus is more on contingency and ensuring that future leaders are identified and trained early according to Mr Southwell.

“The second one is really making sure that our future leaders are getting the development they need now rather than when we need managers or leaders in the firm, it's actually trying to find those people within the firm now and starting to develop those talents.”

“I think that's something that's really, really important.”

Mr Southwell added that lateral hires and recruitment isn’t a focus for Pitcher Partners.

“Laterals don’t feature heavily in our strategy but we will look at good people if they get presented to us,” he said.

“We’re not actively out there searching but at the same time if someone knocks on the door, we've make some good hires in that regard and they were just out of the blue.”

“The thing is with good people is they never come when you need them; they always come at the wrong time.”

Graduate neglect leads to lacklustre mid-level talent
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