Recruiting and retaining employees has long been a challenge for public practice firms and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

There are a number of methods practitioners can adopt to adequately resource their practices: crowdsourcing, outsourcing and offshoring provide skilled human capital 24 hours of the day, irrespective of your location, providing a talented workforce across different time zones. In addition, graduate accountants who have entered the profession from less traditional pathways provide an alternative labour force option, as does the use of para-professionals.

Firms offering flexible and positive workplaces which support mobile technology solutions will be best placed to attract a diverse mix of talent and to retain their best workers. 

Tips

  • Understand what will make you an employer of choice
  • Understand what motivates graduates and use your service offering to provide a career path
  • Embrace the ageing workforce

Employment manual

Download an exclusive Employer’s Manual and Staff Manual, customisable for public practitioners. These procedure manuals detail employment and industrial relations legislative requirements and provide checklists and templates.

Employees versus contractors

It is important to understand the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. Simply calling someone a "contractor" does not protect a principal from liability for employment entitlements, should the person not satisfy the legal tests for an independent contractor.

Applying an incorrect label can result in significant liability, including liability for wages and entitlements, breach of award and workplace relations legislation, liability for unfair dismissal, unpaid superannuation and payroll tax.

Recruitment

Training and mentoring

Investing in soft skills development for yourself and your team is essential to maximise your relationship with your clients, to deliver quality advice services and to keep the job interesting and challenging for your staff. These soft skills should encompass communication and presentation skills. To assist you in maximising your employees’ potential, undertake an audit of their skill sets.

Staff mentoring programs will also be required, in order to meet regulators’ certification requirements.

Performance management

Workplace culture

Firms offering flexible and positive workplaces are best placed to retain their best workers. One aspect of a culture which supports employees is supporting mobile technology solutions, allowing employees to work from home. In order to retain your quality team members, you may also need to consider sharing the financial success of the practice, investing in career pathways and offering mentoring programs.

Australian Government support services