3 Actions that a Partner in Practice can take to retain “Talent” within their Firms
….. imagine you’re a Partner in an Accountancy Firm, you have just reviewed how far you have progressed in achieving this year’s Fees Target and you are visualising how you will achieve the Forecasted Fees Targets (which has a growth factor of 8% p.a. included in them) over the next 3 years.
At this point your thought process turns to your team, the Director(s) &/or Manager(s) &/or Assistant Managers as well as the Trainees/Associates at various stages of their Professional Examinations, who you are looking to deliver the relevant chargeable hours in order to achieve those Forecasted Fees Targets …
…. and you wonder what you can do to not only retain the Director(s)/Manager(s) but how do you hold onto those Trainees/Associates who will be completing their various 3 year / 3.5 year Training Contracts over the next number of months!
My simple advice to you is this …. if you want to continue to bring high calibre Recently Qualified Individuals (ie “Talent”) onto your team after they complete their Training Contract, then it’s all about your clear and consistent “Communication, Communication, Communication!”
I have worked with Recently Qualified Accountants and Recently Qualified Tax Professionals over the past 15+ years who have decided to leave their Training Firms and, from the feedback I have received from each of them, I have set-out below the Top 3 Actions you can take as a Partner to give you the greatest opportunity to retain “Talent” for your team as soon as their Training Contract is completed.
#1 Start talking to every Trainee/Associate, as a Human-Being, on a regular basis as soon as they commence their Training Contracts so that you can identify from an early stage those individuals you might like to retain after they complete their Training Contracts … and don’t leave it until they have only 6 months or 12 months left to complete their Training Contracts.
#2 Regularly “Sell” the benefits of an ongoing career in Practice and highlight the specific advantages that a career in your Firm may have over an alternate career in Industry which would appeal to the individual in question; for example they may value annual leave, flexibility, location, pay + bonus/profit-share, career progression, input into future direction of Firm etc and you will only know this based on regular & “human” conversations with them.
#3 Just because you have had one or two conversations in the past few months, do not assume that the “Talent” you have identified knows just how highly you value them and that you want them to join your Team … it’s a message that needs to be regularly and consistently communicated by you!
So I finish on my initial point because it is the core of my advice …. if you want to continue to bring high calibre Recently Qualified Individuals (ie “Talent”) onto your team after they complete their Training Contract, then it’s all about your clear and consistent “Communication, Communication, Communication!”