AAM Minute - Questions & Answers

Two Recent Hires’ Perspectives on Recruiting Marketing Efforts

Maria Bendetti, BBD, LLP


A firm cannot be successful without talented and dedicated staff members who are committed to performing quality services. As marketers, we spend so much time marketing to, and often recruiting, the best talent we can find for our firms. In an effort to understand if our initiatives in attracting and retaining this talent are helpful and impactful, we asked two recent hires about their general impressions of the hiring processes they experienced.


Andrew’s Perspective

Andrew Kaiser has been working as a staff accountant for approximately two months. Although he had internship experiences, this is his first full-time public accounting job since graduating college in December. Andrew’s perspective on recruiting marketing is fresh and revolves around firms’ on-campus recruiting as well personal research he conducted.


When you started looking for jobs, how did you decide where you were going to apply?

I was looking at firms that encourage pursuit of the CPA license and also have a close-knit culture. Having prior interest in governmental and not-for-profit accounting, I was looking into firms that had a strong presence in each field. The career center at my school, Rutgers University, also had a suggested a list of firms that actively recruit local accounting students.


What was your most used means of researching firms?

Most of my research was conducted via internet. I was most interested in firms’ ‘About Us’ pages, their client industries, and information regarding entry-level accounting jobs. A firm’s website can say a lot about their culture, services, and marketing abilities.


Did you use social media in your search? If so, what did you like or dislike about firms’ uses of social media channels?

I used LinkedIn throughout my job search – it gives the job hunter a snapshot of the firm and an opportunity to connect to those in their network. LinkedIn also keeps track of your searches and suggests similar firms based on your history. I found LinkedIn to be an excellent secondary resource, next to a firm’s website.


Did you find anything particularly compelling or helpful on any firm websites during your job search?

I found the use of video testimonials from current employees of the firm to be very insightful into the culture. Websites that focused on a more simplistic navigation toolbar design and homepage were very helpful as well. When a firm uses management’s photos throughout their website, it allows for transparency and a sense of familiarity, which I like. Overall, my personal critique and opinion of the firm’s website was one of the main deciding factors in whether or not I would pursue further information.


Did you attend any recruiting or networking events? If so, were there particular efforts firms made that attracted you to a firm or made you less inclined toward a firm?

I was an active participant in the on-campus recruiting services available at Rutgers. I was able to attend several workshops and seminars that provided insight and background into the firms that were actively recruiting. I was more comfortable and confident in firms that had recruited at Rutgers in prior years. That showed me that these firms were familiar and confident with the caliber of accounting graduates from the area.


In general, what incentives would attract you to a firm?

I was attracted to firms that encourage pursuing the CPA license, that offer opportunity for growth, who award staff based on merit and not just years of service, and that are actively involved in community service.


Do you have any suggestions on how firms could improve their recruiting marketing tactics?

Participating in on-campus recruiting, attending job fairs, and having an active LinkedIn profile are all essential for recruiting. Also, firms need to have a website that highlights their areas of expertise. Small informational brochures are another way to spark the interest of a potential applicant.


Alicia’s Perspective

Alicia Kiefer, CPA, has approximately three years of experience with two different public accounting firms. She has been a tax accountant with her current firm for almost four months, so her perspective on recruiting marketing comes with a few years of experience. She was able to leverage her network of connections to help her form opinions about firms, and she also has a formed idea of what she likes and dislikes in a firm from her first job.


What was your most used means of researching firms?

I started reaching out to recruiters when I first wanted to leave my previous firm. I found this to be unsuccessful. I also used Google to search for firms and look at their websites. The best way to find information, I think, is to tell people the firm you are thinking of going to and see their first reactions.


Did you find anything particularly compelling or helpful on any firm websites during your job search?

I find it really helpful to see partner and manager biographies to get a feel for who the people are and what they do. Also, I like to see detailed descriptions of the firm’s specializations because I knew I wanted to specialize. I like to see job openings readily available, too.


Was there significant personal interaction (i.e. phone calls, in-person discussions, personal emails) between you and the people at the firms you applied to? If so or if not, did this influence your decision?

I talked to the human resources person at my current job on the phone a few times, and she was really willing to answer my questions patiently, which is not true of everyone. I think the more people you can talk to at a firm you are thinking about working for, the better feel you get for the culture, which is important.


Did you receive any marketing materials from firms during your search (i.e. mailings, mass emails, branded merchandise, etc.)? If so or if not, did this influence your decision?

Recruiters send a lot of stuff to me, and I do not find that appealing. Alternatively, one firm gave out EOS lip balm at college recruiting events, and I thought that was really fun. The stuff would not make a decision for me though.

In what ways did firms explain their cultures to you, if at all?

The human resources director at my current job really took the time to explain the culture to me in person. As an experienced professional, culture is important to me. I learned from other jobs that it’s about more than just a job.


Can you name a few things that firms did that made them stand out to you in any way?

I started seeing commercials for a firm I was applying to and that did make it stand out to me. I liked how the commercials made that firm seem unique.


Do you have any suggestions on how firms could improve their recruiting marketing tactics?

If a person at the firm reached out to me instead of their recruiter, I would respond because I would feel really valued. The personal feel is important to me.