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Finance & Accountancy firms need to be strategic and act fast to secure the best graduates

by Martin Parr | 11 July 2019

Graduates can be a valuable asset to any organisation, especially those within the Finance & Accountancy sector, but only if businesses act fast and find candidates that have the right skillset and are the right cultural fit. Graduates represent the future growth of businesses and give them a pipeline of new talent to train and mentor, and if firms are able to attract the ‘cream or the crop’ they will be in a very strong position against their competitors.

I regularly speak to businesses that have been left disappointed come September because they have been unable to attract the graduates they need. In my experience, one of the major reasons organisations miss out is due to the way they promote their benefits, and what they have on offer. The market is very much graduate-led, and it is unlikely that the most sought after candidates will spend a great amount of time researching what you have to offer. Instead, businesses need to ensure they are promoting the right benefits in the right places. For example, an ambitious Finance & Accountancy graduate will want to know that they will get the support and mentoring needed to build a successful career, so firms that are interested in securing these candidates need to promote benefits such as what training and development is on offer and whether there is access to any additional qualifications. These benefits should be promoted directly to candidates where possible at open days, on websites and job boards where graduates are likely to be most active.

I would also urge Finance & Accountancy firms to properly vet candidates properly and ensure they are speaking with the right talent on the market. Generally, graduates will have a good idea of what they are looking for, however I have had experience with candidates that have been unsure and are considering various roles and sectors. Firms need to, where possible, ensure that the candidates they are speaking with are 100 percent committed and have a genuine interest in the business and role from the offset. A strong vetting process during the interview stage can help with this, and will help ensure businesses are employing committed and motivated candidates that will contribute towards future growth.

Finally, it is important to know where to look for graduates. Businesses need to be proactive and not rely on graduates coming to them. Firms that know they need to employ graduates should have a presence on campus throughout the year at careers days and recruitment fares. Failing that, businesses can engage with a recruitment agency such as Sellick Partnership that specialises in the Finance & Accountancy sector and already has relationships with higher education establishments across the North West. Generally, agencies will have up-to-date market knowledge and insights, and have access to a wealth of readily available candidates, including graduates.

Working with a recruitment firm can assist with your recruitment and act as an extension of your HR team, saving time and money long-term. If you need help securing graduates for your business, or would like some advice on how to attract the very best candidates on the market, please contact myself or a member of my team by calling 0161 834 1642.

Or click here to view the full article in the Manchester Evening News. Article can be found on P28-19.

Martin Parr, Manager, Sellick Partnership