Are you open minded about Recruitment?

18th August 2014

Are you open minded about Recruitment?

Recruiting staff into your business is probably one of the important decisions that you undertake.  The decision as to how you identify suitable potential interviewees is also worth considering very carefully.

About 7 or so years ago we had a requirement for a junior accountant and rather than merely advertise or recruit via an agency decided to explore other recruitment avenues. As a result of that we fostered an initial relationship with Brighton University as they had business and finance students who had the option of having a gap year working in appropriate employment.

We took the view that whilst there was a training cost associated with taking on effectively a temporary employee the mutual relationship could potentially be beneficial and outweigh any cost concerns. An arrangement like this gives both the student and us an extended period of time whereby the student could decide whether accountancy was for them and equally whether the student might potentially become a longer term employee from our point of view.

We adopted the same interview process that we follow for all our recruitment so this minimized the possibility of recruiting an inappropriate candidate and this also represented a training experience for the student having to impress in a formal interview process.   

That was 7 years ago and we have taken placement students in 5 of the subsequent years.  In the main this has proved to a very successful approach to ensuring we have appropriate staff to undertake work on behalf of our clients. In fact 2 of the placement students became full time employees after graduating from their degree and indeed one of those is still with us and is close to qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant.      

During the autumn of 2013 we extended this relationship with Brighton University and I attended a speed interviewing evening jointly held between the University and the ICAEW to enable the students to gain interview experience and then informally ask about what it is really like in an accountancy practice.   This has worked well for us as well since I kept in touch with a number of the students and we have now recruited one as a full time graduate trainee.            

There is always some element of risk associated with recruitment and taking a placement is not for all but it has worked well for us over the years and as a local employer helps foster better relationships with the wider business and educational community and provides the workforce of the future with invaluable experience.


Written by Matthew Benton, Senior Manager

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