Attracting talent can be a special challenge for the smaller practice. If you haven’t thought…
Hill Barth & King
Hill, Barth & King LLC enjoys a position as a large, regional CPA firm with offices reaching from Eastern Ohio across to Western Pennsylvania and Virginia, as well as along Florida’s Gulf and East Coasts. We offer a range of professional services to our business and individual clients, including consulting, audit, tax and financial advisory services. Over time, our business valuation and litigation support practice expanded and became more complex, and we identified and hired a fulltime business appraiser. During 2002 and 2003, as our BV practice continued to grow, HBK attempted to internally develop BV support and analytical capabilities. We encountered the typical obstacles to the internal development model: staff turnover, lack of individual commitment to BV, and the substantial up-front training and close supervision necessary to create a reliable level one analyst. We also experienced a problem common in CPA firms: principals and managers with both BV credentials and experience handling the constant demands of their books of business and staff responsibilities, leaving limited time for the BV practice. By early 2003, it was clear our needs for valuation competence, production and practice development were not being met by the internal development approach.
When we committed to hiring a second fulltime appraiser, we contacted Borrowman Baker to discuss our circumstances and needs. We had seen the Borrowman Baker newsletter, and the firm was known to us as a reputable recruiter. I initiated our contact with John Borrowman, and from the start, John was a good listener interested in understanding our needs, and not just in pushing resumes at us. John was always resourceful and responsive. We had a frank discussion about our potential for attracting quality talent, and the challenges we might expect, including a constraint arising from our geographic location.
John was able to provide detailed information about three excellent candidates in the level three range, including one credentialed appraiser. All three showed evidence of being committed to the BV profession and the pursuit of high level credentials. Early in the process, John made direct communication with the candidates possible. By the time we invited two of the three candidates to meet us in-person, we had the benefit of telephone interviews, information exchange, and the involvement of our HR department.
John was in frequent contact with us and the candidates, keeping the process moving and on track. By relying on his knowledge and network of contacts, HBK was able to identify and eventually hire an experienced appraiser with a strong background in valuing intangible assets, a high priority in our selection criteria. In hindsight, we certainly benefited by using Borrowman Baker to put us in contact with a qualified appraiser looking for a favorable opportunity in which to practice and develop. In a relatively short period of time, we added a competent, experienced analyst who made immediate contributions to our day-to-day valuation practice.