Date posted: 17/04/2023

Recruiting early-stage talent? Our new guide to best practice

As the global talent shortage deepens, small to medium accounting firms are increasingly hiring people who have just begun their career.

In brief

  • New toolkit offers SMPs tips on how to attract, hire and retain early-stage talent.
  • Downloadable and interactive tools, templates and checklists.
  • Discover the skills, competencies and characteristics of a suitable candidate.

Sound recruitment processes underpin the success of any accounting firm, but getting early-stage talent on board comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities.

A new toolkit, written by graduate recruitment consultancy ReadyGrad, for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, provides a comprehensive guide for small and medium firms (SMPs) on how to attract, hire, select and retain people entering the profession.

Early-stage talent covers interns, graduates and cadets and may even include people in the later years of high school, those who have a TAFE qualification or university degree, as well as older people who may have made a career change. This guide equips SMPs to help with the hiring process to ensure it is a good revenue-generating investment.

“The toolkit [shows] how you can ensure that your whole recruitment process is inclusive and attracts people from diverse backgrounds”

“While people at this early career stage typically have limited or no experience, they can be very effective when you focus on hiring for competencies, characteristics and attitude, as well as providing them with development opportunities,” say the toolkit’s authors.

Attract, recruit and retain

The toolkit opens with tips on how to begin your recruitment planning, exploring whether you need someone to fill a short or long-term position. The process to hire these new people can be highly structured and formalised for larger cohorts or less formal for hiring one or two people each year.

The toolkit suggests how you create a compelling employer proposition, discusses what new recruits are likely looking for and how to best attract them to apply for the role at your firm. You will need to determine the skills, competencies and characteristics of the suitable candidate to fit with your culture and succeed in the role.

Each of the toolkit’s six modules also has downloadable, interactive tools, templates and checklists that can be edited to your firm’s specifications.

You’ll learn how to define your target market and expand it to consider qualifications other than a university degree and also to encompass international students. This section offers some real-life experiences of firms, as well as tips on how to write a compelling job advertisement and where to promote it to get the best results.

The toolkit also suggests how you can ensure that your whole recruitment process is inclusive and attracts people from diverse backgrounds.

It shows how to improve your selection process to target early-stage talent, effectively manage applications, shortlist, screen by phone, different interview techniques and the importance of checking references.

Once you’ve decided on your new hires, the guide suggests how to make them an offer, what to pay and the invaluable steps of how to introduce them into the firm.

You’ll learn about creating role rotations, buddy, mentor and professional development programs to engage new people in your firm’s culture so that they feel comfortable and can work effectively as soon as possible, and hopefully - if it’s a mutually good fit - stay and grow with your firm.

The toolkit hones in on tips for engaging interns and cadets, how to write a compelling ad for them, the selection process, offering models on how to structure and deliver programs that appropriately address their needs and also ensures they meet your expectations. The ideal outcome is to convert your interns and cadets into permanent graduates and then employees, with a career trajectory in your firm.

Future Talent Toolkit

A practical guide for recruiting cadets, interns and graduates. This resource is exclusive to CA ANZ members.

Download from Tools & Resources