The only thing worse than a bad hire is the bad hire you could have…
By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
Ever mention to a friend who runs another BV practice that you’re looking to hire at the 2 to 4 year experience level, only to be told “we’re looking for the same thing”? So, where are those staff?
And why are they so darn hard to hire?
Well, it’s the employment marketplace, after all, and subject to forces of supply and demand like everything else. The demand part of the equation is what you’re most familiar with. BV talent that reaches the 18 to 24 month experience mark becomes more valuable. They can do more work, more independently.
When your pipeline is running full, the 2+ year staffer is a smart hire. Leverage can let you reduce your blended rate and, if you can hold tight to prices, generate more profit. It’s no wonder so many BV practices want this talent.
What‘s easy to overlook is the supply side of the equation.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone starting a career in the profession you’ve worked in for many years, already. They have the basic tools of financial analysis, but they need the seasoning that only time can give. It can be frustrating.
Usually somewhere around that 2 year mark, the light has dawned. The pieces begin to fit together. Things start to make sense. There are more – and more frequent – Aha! moments. Now, things are fun. And BV begins to look to them like the profession you love.
Once you reached that point, why would you think about leaving? The path ahead is clearer. The horse you’re on feels steady. It could also be that there is now someone else on the rung below you to whom you can hand the work you least like to do. Leave, and that could go away.
There’s a shift in the risk to benefit calculation. You could almost argue there’s a change in “career NPV”. Bottom-line, there’s a sharply reduced interest in making a job change.
This condition afflicts consulting services, generally, of course. So, there’s no escaping its influence. BV practice owners and leaders are finding ways to staff creatively, however, with para-professionals, cross-training of audit/tax staff, and serious commitment to a “grow your own” philosophy.