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New accounting recruits reject traditional drawcards

One graduate recruiter believes accounting firms should be focusing on retaining their employees through building loyalty as opposed to buying them with increased remuneration, as millennials in particular increasingly reject traditional lures of accounting firms.  

Professional Development Lara Bullock 29 May 2017
— 1 minute read

Following a recent speed networking event in partnership with Intuit, Grad Mentor founder Alisdair Barr spoke to Accountants Daily about graduate recruitment trends.


Mr Barr said there are three things that millennial employees want from their employers, including those in the accounting industry, and they are social purpose, flexibility and technology.

“They want to make an impact, they want to see an outcome, they want to have a social purpose. They like small-to-medium businesses because they can see the end to end benefit of good sound advice and financial services advice,” Mr Barr said.

“Flexibility is a word they use and a word that a baby boomer presumes they mean they want to work from home, which is not necessarily the case. They want to be able to deliver work or good outcomes for clients in flexible manners and that's being flexible around study and travel and things like that.”

“And they want technology. The older generation finds technology threatening but young people see how technology can enhance the ability to build relationships.”

In order to attract and retain millennial accountants, firms must look to build loyalty through providing those things and more, as opposed to focusing on high remuneration according to Mr Barr.

“Money is always a thing but it's not the lead thing. If somebody says they’re going to leave and you offer them more money then what happens is you don't buy loyalty, you buy time.”

“Money must be fair and reasonable and must be market rate, but if you're talking about cultural alignment, experience, growth, flexibility, career development, learning and ongoing education, complexity of the work, these are the things that actually help to build loyalty.”

New accounting recruits reject traditional drawcards
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