Locating and successfully hiring a top Finance and Accounting candidate is cause for celebration. It’s difficult to find great talent, and once they are aboard your team it can be satisfying knowing your critical open position has been filled. But will that top candidate last long? Studies show that one-third of new hires will quit within the first six months of a new role. Losing a candidate during the interview process is one thing, but losing employees months after they start is another issue to address. Companies are having trouble with employee retention for several reasons and are losing top Finance and Accounting talent at alarming rates.
Competition Is High
The skills shortage in Finance and Accounting is making it difficult for employers to locate talent through traditional channels because the top professionals are already employed and passively job seeking at best. Due to this, organizations will seek out individuals at their current jobs because that’s where they can be found and recruiters will go above and beyond to convince workers to leave their current positions. Even if your employees are happy at work, if a competitor comes in and smoothly offers them something better in responsibilities, money, benefits, or career growth, it could be enough to tempt anyone.
To combat this, communication is key. Have an open dialogue with your employees so that they are comfortable coming to you to discuss anything on their mind. Let them know they have a valuable future at your organization and that you value them as workers and as people. Making employees comfortable will allow them to be open about any job offers they are considering, which will place you in a position to discuss a new offer of your own and make a case for retaining their expertise.
Subpar Compensation and Benefits
Compensation is often the catalyst when an employee considers leaving their current employer. While this spark is not always enough to cause a full-blown job search on its own, it’s best to avoid this temptation as much as possible. A high salary offer from a competitor could capture your employee’s attention long enough to hear a recruiting pitch on rare extras or robust health benefits that could tip the scales in your competitor’s favor.
When evaluating the salary of employees during performance reviews, it’s necessary to consider industry averages for the same position and offer something comparative or better. Many corporate salary structures do not keep up with the cost of living or with the market, and are antiquated by being based solely on an arbitrary percentage. On average, a person who leaves their role for a new one sees a 10% to 20% increase in pay compared to 3% when they stay in their current job. Knowing this, it’s necessary to evaluate what your competitors are offering and make sure your salary increases and benefits are as good if not better.
For up-to-date compensation figures, download your 2017 Finance & Accounting Salary Guide today.
Negative Culture and Poor Branding
Outside of compensation and benefits, an employee must enjoy their surroundings. Getting paid a high salary can keep someone content for a few months, but a terrible culture can quickly make the big bucks not worth the stress. Negative coworker relationships, poor communication, and a bland environment add up. These factors cause coworkers to complain to each other and publicly, hurting employee engagement as well as the company’s brand. If the corporate image gets bad enough, it can even be embarrassing for a worker to admit they work there.
Improving an employer brand or culture takes time, with productive changes coming from the bottom up. Begin by evaluating the current state of the environment to determine what areas employees are unhappy with. Doing small things can make big differences in improving morale, whether it’s a complimentary espresso machine in the break room, organized after-work activities such as a softball league, or holding team-building exercises. As culture improves, hiring and retention will follow suit. For example, employee referrals provide the highest-quality hires that fit well with the culture, translating into high retention rates. Creating a positive environment will have your own employees recruiting long-term candidates for you.
Ignoring the Generational Gap
The Finance and Accounting field is a traditional industry with many leaders that have decades of experience. While this deep history can provide a great deal of guidance, it can also make it difficult to adapt to modern employees. Millennials are now the largest generation in America’s workforce, with Generation Z getting ready to fill jobs for the first time. Managing an early-career CPA the same way as a CPA near retirement will practically push younger employees out of the door.
Younger generations are very different from Baby Boomers or Generation X. They are digital natives, relying on technology for communication and convenience. Flexibility and work-life balance is paramount for these workers, and if they feel a stringent corporate hand at play it will weigh on them and encourage them to seek out more inviting organizations. Understanding this and tailoring management styles accordingly will improve employee retention rates drastically.
Why Companies Lose Top Accounting & Finance Talent
Healthy employee retention has become more critical than ever for Finance and Accounting leaders. With the power to offset talent shortages, a healthy retention strategy requires adaptation. By communicating clearly, compensating appropriately, promoting positivity, and rethinking management styles, your talent losses will turn into permanent talent gains.
For additional strategies and detailed compensation figures, download your 2017 Finance & Accounting Salary Guide today.
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