The CPA Shortage is Real

Posted by Teige Ehlen on 6/14/22 9:00 AM
Teige Ehlen
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CPA Recruiting Firm

What every CPA needs to know about today’s competitive market

“If you’re not happy where you are, start looking...”  Right?

That’s the old rule. But what if you still like your job? Let's imagine that the pay is fine, the benefits are good, the career path promising. If you’re in public accounting or a CPA with a public accounting background, there’s a new rule to consider following:  “No matter how happy you are in your current role, now is the best time to be looking at what’s out there.”  Here's why:

I’m sure you’re already aware that demand for your skills is hot right now, especially among private industry employers. But I’m not sure that you know just how hot. If you’ve been out of the job market for even a year, you may be astonished to discover what today’s hiring frenzy looks like – and what it could mean for you.

“I have never seen this kind of compensation before…”

“I had no idea they offered this kind of PTO…”

“There is no comparison between these benefits and what I have now…”

Those aren’t quotes from one candidate. These are the kinds of reactions I hear routinely. Here's what they didn't realize:

Jobs and offers are more attractive than ever

Many of today’s busy, successfully employed CPA’s are simply unaware of just how much has changed in the job market. I get it. I started my own career as a public accountant. That’s my world. These are my colleagues. We speak the same language.

As an executive recruiter, I know that the jobs I’m handling are worth a look. These are opportunities with some of the most forward-thinking, successful private-sector employers in the Twin Cities and Chicago metros. They’re employers who understand the implications of the Great Resignation and have made the conscious decision to support their employees’ needs for work-life balance, re-engineering just about everything around the employee experience.

Work looks and feels different at these companies

The employers I represent today have embraced work-from-home and flexible work hours. But they also continue to invest in beautiful, welcoming spaces where employees who prefer on-site or hybrid arrangements are proud to come to work and truly enjoy their surroundings.

Your work is valued and rewarded very differently

The typical positions I’m filling pay at market to well-above market. If you come from a Big Four accounting firm, where salaried positions can average 60+ hour work weeks, I’d invite you to take a step back and consider what it would be like to have every one of those hours north of forty compensated, often in the form of a semi-annual bonus. Then consider being able to plan your work according to your other obligations and highest life priorities. Two words: unlimited PTO.

Career paths are abundant and nurtured

If you’re part of the Big Four culture, you may be operating within an “up or out” career culture. In the private sector, career goals are multi-faceted, multi-directional, and richly supported through mentoring, personal development, and professional growth opportunities.

Don’t ignore the possibilities without exploring them

If any of this sounds like it’s worth exploring, here’s a closer look at what these employers really want in a new hire:

  1. You, especially if you’ve spent part of your career at a Big Four firm. 
  2. Broad exposure to many different types of projects and processes.
  3. The ability to deliver high-quality work, according to very rigorous standards.
  4. A team attitude that makes you want to pitch in and get things done.

Life is too short to be stuck in a job that’s ok… when a truly great job is right here, waiting for you

Right now, I am recruiting for exactly the kinds of positions I’ve just described. If you’d like to know even just a little bit more, please reach out. I would love to get to know you!

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Topics: Market Trends, Chicago, Finance & Accounting