Shifting Recruitment Priorities In A Tight Job Market

Brand Story - Demographic shifts are changing the way accounting firms are recruiting and retaining top talent.


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than the average of all occupations. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the unemployment rate for accountants and auditors was 1.8% in the first quarter of 2019, markedly lower than the national 3.8%.

In other words, it’s a tight job market for high-quality, skilled CPAs.

So, what does this mean for industrywide recruitment? Well, at Geffen Mesher, it means the firm must commit more than ever to a competitive strategy.

 “Recruitment has evolved into an art form over the past few years,” noted Julie Brodell-Martin, Geffen Mesher’s Talent Development Manager. “A single, flat strategy isn’t applicable to both entry-level and experienced hires. Portland’s deep and diverse talent pool has competing motivations, and our firm celebrates five different generations of employees. In order for us to be competitive as a boutique and local firm, we needed to approach this problem differently.”

Indeed, Generation Z college graduates have considerably different career expectations than even Millennials, and this is dramatically changing how accounting firms are recruiting and retaining top-tier talent. As a result, Geffen Mesher has challenged industry norms to attract the right candidates, and is actively recruiting nationwide.

“We pride ourselves on being competitive with a robust benefits package, flexible work-life balance, and a personalized career path,” explained Michael A. Rompa, Geffen Mesher’s Managing Shareholder.

“No one wants to work 70+ hour work weeks, especially in our beautiful city of Portland, Oregon.”

Recruitment is yearlong, but its peak season begins in May and lasts through November each year.

“Our culture and people are main attractions,” continued Brodell-Martin. “You can’t fool prospects. They recognize corporate lip service and marketing gimmicks. Authenticity matters.”

Geffen Mesher has a considerable campus recruitment schedule, summer internship program, and Summer Leadership Conference, as well as exclusive open houses at the beginning and end of each recruitment cycle. The competitive yet rewarding process ensures that the right people are hired.

“We have great people from all over the country,” said Rompa. “And our curated talent matters to our clients. It’s why we excel at what we do.”

About Geffen Mesher: Geffen Mesher, a Portland-based accounting and consulting firm, that focuses on providing ongoing financial strategy, accounting and tax services for businesses and high-net-worth individuals. We serve many industries and create solutions that help our diverse clientele plan and build their financial pictures wisely.

For more than 85 years, our focus has taken us beyond the numbers and into the lives, plans, and strategic goals of our clients. In providing professional tax, financial and business consulting, and reporting, we have successfully guided our clients through booms and busts, recessions and recoveries, with an approach and model built around the commitment of our people, decades of experience, and expertise across a wide range of industries.

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