19 June 2015
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
Though many typically start their job search in the public accounting sector in the fall, with the annual spike in hiring from October-December in preparation of Quarter 1, or “busy season,” hiring has been strong year-round. While many are used to hiring slowing down in the summer—not just in public accounting, but across the board—this is no longer the case. The economy is improving, firms are growing, and many are in need of talent as a result. To avoid missing out on candidates when the needs are dire, many firms are hiring earlier and taking that time to integrate, train, and utilize talent leading up to busy season. As a result, there are opportunities across the board at all levels—from new grads to partners and auditors to tax accountants. This is especially true as more and more baby boomers retire, which many middle-market firms are now reacting to with an added focus on succession planning. However, many professionals are hesitant to launch a job search in the summer. The major August 15th and September 15th tax deadlines are approaching, bonuses are on the horizon, and many are looking forward to a vacation before the onset of busy season. But if you’re a professional looking for a new opportunity, consider taking this summer to get started on that job search: not only will you have a leg up on the competition that floods in with fall and winter, you’ll also be able to take your time finding the right fit. “While many tax professionals may be wary of entering the market before the next tax deadlines, those who do land a new position early have the opportunity to experience and settle into a new firm and see how they handle the end-of-summer ‘busy season’ before experiencing a full one next January,” says Irv Myones, Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “This can make a huge difference in happiness and work ethic in the long run; often, we find that our new public accounting candidates love what they’re doing, but don’t love where they’re doing it.” According to Irv, early job seekers can also take the extra time to acquire their client base and form relationships before the Q1 rush. For those concerned with missing out on a bonus, it’s worth noting that employers are recognizing the need to attract and retain talent and, as a result, many are offering sign-on bonuses to attract top talent when they need them most. Many firms are also offering incentives like competitive salaries and improved work-life balance to retain employees beyond tax and busy seasons. In fact, a recent article in Accounting Today called recruiting and retaining talent “the number one priority concern of top CPA firms.” “These new incentives are changing the way firms attract and retain professionals for the long-term,” says Irv. “Employers are acknowledging that the demands of busy season can be taxing and so, to keep their employees happy and loyal, they’ve been implementing these changes.” If you’re unhappy with your current position or looking for a better opportunity, you can start enjoying these benefits much sooner while getting settled, rather than jumping in right before busy season kicks off.