How to attract young talented finance professionals with clear progression

June 2nd 2023 | Posted by Phil Scott

Attracting and retaining young talent is essential for companies that aim to grow and evolve.

Finance professionals who fall within this “young talent” bracket want to know that they are valued within an organisation and that they have opportunities to progress and develop their career.

To meet these expectations, forward-thinking firms take steps to embrace young talent. These steps take time and effort, but the results are worthwhile as we are going to show you.

Employees seek development and progression

As the world has moved to more flexible working, employees have begun to expect more from the workplace. This expectation includes a need to feel valued and the ability to develop. These requirements are especially important to Gen Z employees who are used to a world of gamification where challenges and goals are prevalent. The future of organisations such as accounting firms relies on attracting and retaining Gen Z talent, so giving people the chance to stretch themselves and reach defined goals is essential.

Progressive firms include these goals as part of a structured and supportive development process. Doing this means people know that they are valued and have the opportunity to contribute to the success of the firm while also progressing their own career.

There are several possibilities available to provide development opportunities in an accounting firm. These possibilities include opening the door on different types of work or enabling people to work with bigger clients as they progress. Whatever opportunities are available, they need to be clearly communicated to individuals and people must be aware of what they need to do to move to the next level.

Management engagement is vital

An environment with clear progression paths and development opportunities only works if management is engaged. Management at the most successful accounting firms knows how essential this is and ensures clear and open communication with teams and individuals.

Management also introduces challenging targets and progression points while providing the support and resources necessary to reach them. Without this support, challenges do not work as people can feel overwhelmed and out of their depth.

Coaching plays a major role

Some accounting professionals find it difficult to deal with the people management aspects of their role. This happens when technically proficient people do not have highly developed soft skills. In accounting firms where this is the case, time should be spent developing managers to be coaches.

Having the ability to coach enables them to support and develop people. Having this coaching based environment in place is an essential aspect of allowing clear progression paths for young talent in an accounting firm.

Put simply, accounting firms that want to thrive in a competitive environment must attract top young talent to take the business forward into the future. To do this, the most progressive firms implement a culture of stretching goals, support, coaching, and defined progression, to make them attractive to the most promising young accounting professionals in the job market.

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