November 2022

6 tips for attracting and retaining the top Valuations talent

Have a look at our top tips for finding and keeping the best Valuations candidates in a candidate-driven market. 6 tips for attracting and retaining the top Valuations talent

If you’re in the Valuations game, you’ll understand the importance of Valuations talent to your business. It may be assumed that just because about every business requires Valuations expertise for financial reporting, tax reporting purposes, or both, that there would be an abundance of individuals available on the market. But the current outlook suggests otherwise, and the competition for accountancy professionals with specialist assessment skills and regulatory knowledge is on the rise.

Recent research carried out by Recruitment Data Analytics specialists Broadbean suggests a candidate shortage across the entire accountancy sector. They reported a 33% decline in candidates between May and June this year, as well as a 36% drop in the number of Accountancy job applications year-on-year between June 2021 and 2022.

So how do you ensure you’re able to attract and retain this (pardon the pun) valuable talent? Here, we’re pleased to share our top tips for finding and keeping the best Valuations candidates.

1) Compensation

We’re going to start with an obvious one…compensation. In any candidate scarce market, if you’re not offering competitive packages, you’re simply going to lose out on the best talent – and especially when it comes to accountancy experts who are generally clued-up on all things renumeration.

Valuations professionals are must-haves in your business, so they’re worth offering higher base salaries for. But before you go proposing excessive salaries, be sure you’re not adding to the prevailing sector problem of skewing the market. We’re witnessing some organisations present incredibly generous rates for Valuations specialists, which undoubtedly attract interest from applicants (and particularly junior candidates). In the long term, though, these employees become trapped with no prospects of an increase and are unable to find an alternative role for more money.

Instead, once they’re on board with a competitive base salary, remember to encourage them to stay for the long-haul by making regular, incremental pay increases (also to match inflation rates). If you’re a global firm, ensure you’re offering attractive relocation packages to widen your talent pool too.

It’s not just about monthly take-home, though. A survey of 2,026 Americans concluded that 80% of respondents valued workplace perks more than salary. The shift appears to align with an increase in employees being more aware of ensuring workplace happiness and wellbeing. With 2 in 3 employees claiming they’re feeling more stressed than pre-Covid, people are looking to their employers for additional support with benefits that can have a positive effect on their work/life balance and health. Think flexible and remote working options, pensions, parental leave, gym discounts, health checks and/or insurance, mental health programmes and even workplace complementary therapies and massages.

Not everything will work or even be applicable to your business, so think outside the box for added extras that will motivate people both to join, and remain, with your company. And that goes hand-in-hand with the generous base salaries sought by today’s best Valuations talent.

 

2) Flexibility

Tying in with the above is flexibility. But it’s worth mentioning separately, as it doesn’t only relate to flexible working.

Yes, there’s now demand post-pandemic for hybrid working models to support greater work/life balance: 55% of employees want to work remotely three days a week. And with three quarters of employers now offering hybrid working, if it’s not an option in your business, you’re likely losing out on Valuations talent.

But flexibility should span other areas of your business too. Are you flexible in affording people opportunities to work from alternative locations? Could you offer schemes where employees can visit other global offices to carry out their role for a while? And do you offer flexible work hours to help families needing to collect children, care for elderly parents or simply visit the gym?

Flexibility can also be applied to promotions. Why not scrap rigid developmental timelines in favour of progression opportunities at any stage of employees’ careers? We’re seeing a rise in the popularity of meritocracy structures in the current market. If you’d like to learn more about that, why not get in touch?

It’s time to start getting creative around flexibility and what it means in your business to ensure top Valuations talent is keen to work for you.

 

3) Job Titles

Have you thought long and hard about the job titles you’re giving to employees? If it’s never really been a consideration, perhaps it should be.

Rightly or wrongly, people often feel defined by job titles. They bear impact on self-esteem and status and people often use them as sources of recognition. So, it’s important to remember that when creating roles and progression paths for your Valuations team.

Work with your existing Accountancy employees for added confidence that you’re providing people with titles they’re comfortable with and that reflect their responsibilities. It’s a simple fix that can make a big difference when it comes to attracting and retaining Valuations talent.

 

4) Type of work

Providing employees with wide exposure to a range of different projects helps them to gain experience and progress their careers. Why wouldn’t Valuations specialists who are offered a variety of opportunities want to join a company, and stay with them for many years to come?

Admittedly, all Valuations professionals will be different, with some preferring to specialise. For this reason, some fluidity in your approach to job descriptions and responsibilities may be advantageous so as not to put anyone off applying. 

But remember that generalists are statistically less bored at work than specialists. So, if you can include a range of functions within one role (think goodwill impairments, portfolio valuations, intangibles, gift & estate, stock compensation, etc.), chances are you’ll retain Valuation team members for longer.

Are your Valuations staff presented with a mix of exciting new projects alongside more traditional tasks? Do you have them work on projects with differing risk levels? And could you consider providing people with internal mentors who can further expose Valuations employees to even more specialist areas and assignments?

With 87% of companies claiming they have skills gaps, a more generalist workforce could benefit employers too - definitely something to consider when looking to attract and retain Valuations professionals to your organisation.

 

5) Diversity

While diversity is high on the agenda for the majority of today’s businesses, and the benefits of a diverse workforce being widely promoted, it’s a particular concern within the Accountancy sector.

Sir John Thompson, Chief Exec of The Financial Reporting Council said, “The business case for improved diversity has been made…more needs to be done to ensure firms are not limiting access to the most senior roles.” The Financial Reporting Council is one UK regulator that’s criticised the accounting profession of falling behind other sectors when it comes to the promotion of women, black, Asian and other minority groups. Partner-level roles, in particular, are reportedly dominated by white males. In the US, women, and particularly women of colour continue to be underrepresented in financial services roles above entry level, according to a report published by McKinsey. That’s despite women such as Grant Thornton’s Jennifer Todd, Kroll’s Carla Nunes and Anna Kemenora of CohnReznick overcoming stereotypes to become three examples of women leading the way in Valuations.

Forging a diverse and inclusive working culture is one sure-fire way to encourage high-quality candidates to join and stay with you. We’re seeing unusually high demand for senior managers with between two- and five-years’ experience right now. If you’re one of the many companies seeking Valuations professionals at this level, considering diversity will stand you in great stead.

 

6) Application process

One final consideration, and one of the most common mistakes causing businesses to lose out to competitors, is having a complex or drawn-out application process. Statistics suggest that 60% of job seekers have abandoned a job application due to its length or difficulty, so if you’re keen to appeal to as many Valuations specialists as possible, it’s important to regularly revisit your process to ensure:

  • Online forms are short, concise, and non-repetitive.
  • You not only provide great insight to your company culture, but are aligning with it throughout the recruitment process.
  • You’re keeping candidates informed on how and when they should expect to hear from you at each stage.
  • A smooth, positive experience for candidates attending interviews. Preparation is necessary for both virtual/online or face-to-face interviews.
  • The overall application process (including all interviews and feedback) doesn’t exceed 2-3 weeks.
  • Feedback is provided, even to unsuccessful candidates.
  • Offers are made quickly before you lose out to competition.

Make it easy for people to apply for your Valuations vacancies to attract more sought-after talent, boost your candidate experience, and enhance your employer brand.

Figureheads such as Ken Pia, Taylor Rosanova, Anthony Alfonso and Bonnie Simmons are adding enormous value to the Valuations space. It’s an attractive career choice that can add endless value to your business.

 

Are you ready to attract and retain the best Valuations talent on the market? With Apollo Solutions, you’ll not only gain access to our vast network of Accountancy and Valuations talent, but we’re helping lots of businesses create leading employer brands and packages too. Stand out from the crowd and get in touch today for a confidential chat or reach out to our Valuations Consultants Nenad Nestorovikj and Chantalle Puttnam directly. 

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