There is fierce competition for accounting and finance talent right now. And let’s face it: as much as every company wants to believe they are unique, there are likely many other companies just like yours. So what can you do to set your organization apart? Simply throwing money at the problem just won’t cut it these days. The best talent is looking for more. Salary is only one piece of the puzzle, especially with younger generations. With that in mind, here are three ways to sweeten the deal to land (and ground) top talent.
Improve your culture
Too many companies lose sight of the importance of company culture or have limited knowledge about how to develop it. Look for the warning signs of a neglected company culture. If your people laugh less than they once did, seem unfocused, work shorter days, take longer lunches and ask for more compensation, you may have an issue.
You must come to terms with internal issues before you can truly start developing a positive culture. In some cases, this means letting go of people who are low performers or bring down morale. This includes members of management. This is a difficult decision, and even seems counterproductive in a tight labor market. Hoever it’s likely these people have been holding your company back and contributing to turnover. Once those people are gone, you can truly begin to build a team that is motivated and driving toward the same vision.
Offer a competitive salary
Paying salaries that can compete with your competition is crucial to winning (and keeping) great employees. Parker + Lynch’s Google Consumer Survey of 337 professionals employed in accounting, banking, and finance, found that these professionals view salary as the most important factor when evaluating a job offer (35%). Although salary is not the only reason an employee accepts a job or leaves to work for the competition, it certainly plays a big part in the decision. If all other things are equal, and an employee can make a higher salary somewhere else, you can bet they’ll follow the money.
Do your homework. Take a look at our 2018 Salary Guide for data about comparable positions in your area. And be careful not to compare the positions in your company only to other businesses in your sector or industry. You’re likely in competition with every bank, technology startup and other business in your community!
Provide growth opportunities
Employees today are well aware that they need to update their skills continually. The Consumer Google Survey found that Millennials especially consider opportunities for growth as a top factor when considering a job offer (19%), preceded only by salary. They see great value in a good training and development plan that allows them to reach their career goals. While it takes some investment of time and resources, training and development is a win/win situation for employees and employers. The employee increases their knowledge and skills, and the employer has a highly trained and motivated employee working toward the company goals.
Collaborate with each employee to create an individual development plan. Identify the people who put clients first, do quality work, look for opportunity, and focus on results. Help them develop the skills they’ll need to take on leadership roles in the future and let them know that you see their future with you. When you invest in development, it attracts high-performing, intelligent people to your company and you won’t need to look outside when experienced people leave – you’ll have a pool of qualified, in-house candidates.
Top talent is hard to win and even more difficult to keep, but if you make your company a great place to work and show people where they can go and how to get there, the value and success of those efforts will far outweigh any increases in salary you see.