Speaker 1: Where do we get the resumes, the applicants, the candidates in the pipeline?
Speaker 2: Yeah. That’s the million-dollar question, so to speak. So here’s what we do. You know, culture is so important to us and so, ideally, if you’re trying to figure out who’s the right fit, we look to fundamentally the people who know us best and ask for their help. So the one thing we try to guard against is massive amounts of resumes coming in. What I’d rather have is fewer but they’re quality and then we can properly move them through our processes. So people who know us best.
So it’s going to be our friends and family. What we look at is our highest performers, the people that demonstrate our culture the best, and we go to them directly and we ask them, and say, “Okay. Here’s what we see in you. Here’s what we like about you in particular, and here’s how we think that you’re a great fit for our team. Who else do you know in your network that would be a good fit?” Our top client referral sources, so bankers and attorneys who know us best, we’ll always let them know that we’re looking.
So the people who know us best who know who might fit with us, we’ll ask them for those. Not just anybody they come across but specifically, here are the ideal clients we like to work with, but then also, here are the ideal people who’s a fit for us. And a lot of time we’ll say, if there’s one particular person on our team they work with more than anyone else, we might say, like a [Darren 00:01:38], so, “Who do you know in your network that demonstrates and is like a [Darren 00:01:42]?” That’s someone we’re looking for.
So our people that demonstrate and that are a great fit for our culture already on our team, asking them for people in their network. We look at our referral sources. Then also we get into the universities and say, okay. We’ve developed and cultivated relationships with some of these professors who know us really well, and so inside of their classes they can look and say, “Okay, here’s an upcoming [Darren 00:02:09] that’s in my class. I know that he would be a great fit at [inaudible 00:02:14] Hawkin Lloyd.” So then they’ll refer to us too.
So we really like to tap our networks of friends and family because they’re the ones that know us best, and then we ask.
Speaker 1: Yeah. I want to make a point because you know if somebody’s listening right now and they’re thinking, “Oh, [Chet 00:02:32] goes out to universities,” and then you plan to email 25 professors and, you know, you don’t want to come across saying, “Hey, I’m with ABC Firm. We want to hire people in the next 18 months, 12 months, 6 months, whatever. Who do you have that you can send our way?”
I don’t think you’re going to get the same quality versus, you know, showing up and saying, “Look, we want to bring in younger talent into our firm and we’re trying to put together a process, a system of how best to connect with them, and hire them, you know, what’s important to them. I mean, you work with these great, brilliant students all day, every day. Can I come in and just connect even if it’s during your office hours for 15, 30 minutes to learn about the group of kids and upcoming talent that you’re working with so we understand a better …”
So if it’s going to be strategic to have a relationship with the university, learn about what’s going on in their world first and you can build that the same way your budding relationship with clients, with your team, the same way with your referral partners and your vendors. Go there seeking to learn, to understand what’s going on in their world. Maybe you can even help them immediately, but if not you can at least you know get some insight and get some value and build that relationship. You can build better referrals in that way.
Joe, what have you found from a [Two Roads 00:03:46] perspective to work well in terms of where to get great applicants to come into … you know, from a pipeline perspective into [Two Roads 00:03:54]?
Speaker 3: Yeah. I think it comes down to this, the outsourcing question. We don’t have an official HR Department here so we’ve partnered with recruiting firms, a couple that specialize in accounting, a couple that don’t. There’s a great book. I’m sure probably most of you have heard of it or read of it, Good to Great. It just talks about getting the right people on the bus and that doesn’t necessarily mean experience, you know, ability right through the gate. I think [Chet 00:04:26] has hit on it many times, just that culture piece. So I think getting creative in how you word your job descriptions could help. If you say, “I’m an accountant, I’m a bookkeeper. We look for people who know how to reconcile,” you might lose some really good talent that might otherwise have sent a resume in, might otherwise have been a really great employee that you might just be able to teach some of those skills with. The reality is, the technology’s gotten so good, you can teach someone that’s [inaudible 00:04:54] gifted and culturally gifted how to do bookkeeping. Maybe not so much on the CPA side of things but bookkeeping certainly you can do that.
So we’ve opened up the funnel, so to speak, to kind of include senior financial analysts, someone that sees T&Ls and balance sheets that knows what the end product looks like. Can we fill in the gap of, how do you get it to the end product? We’ve had some success there so our kind of strategy is to get as many people in that top of the funnel and then we use some recruiting firms to kind of whittle it down. We use our test that we send out to whittle it down. Really, our goal is to try to really only look at 10-20 resumes when we’re trying to find that candidate that … ideally they’re coming from hundreds of resumes that’s come through and, you know, with just steps or using a recruiting firm, we’ve narrowed it down to the best of the best and then we look to hire one or two of those.
This answer was presented at our recent Growing Your Firm Virtual Summit.
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