Young adults and recent graduates are entering a labor market that is reportedly the strongest it has been since the recession. As the majority of workers head into retirement there will be no shortage of positions for Millennials to fill.
A Few Statistics About the Industry Outlook for Auditors
- The job outlook for Accountants and Auditors is growing at a rate of 11% faster than the average for other fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- In 2010, The IIA reported that the percentage of auditors in the 26 to 36 age group increased to 30 percent, indicating that more young professionals are entering the profession.
- In 2015, the Journal of Accountancy reported Baby Boomers heading into retirement and Millennials seeking better work/life balance represent the largest streams of accountants out of public accounting.
- The U.S. economy has sufficiently maintained low unemployment rates in recent years, while unemployment in the Accounting and Audit professions is even lower.
As such, employers in Internal Audit should be more motivated than ever to attract the best and brightest young talent. So how do you attract Millennial talent to your Audit staff - sometimes from the grasp of other companies? Below are four suggestions:
Cultivate Strong College Recruiting Programs
If your company does not have a college recruiting program in place, and recruiting top young talent is a priority, it’s high time you started one. Take aim at the major universities in your area and sign up for their career fairs or contact their Accounting and Finance departments to host quarterly or semester networking nights for students. Go a step further and create an Internal Audit internship program that recruits from top universities in your area. Ultimately, developing a strong relationship with colleges and building that reputation among students over the long-run is a sure-fire way to attract future graduates to your company.
Understand What Motivates Millennials
In 2016, two in three Millennials hope to have moved on from their current companies by 2020. - Deloitte Millennial Survey, 2016
While it may be easy to generalize about their generation, many businesses are recognizing the importance of trying to understand the mindset behind Millennials’ career motives. According to Deloitte’s fifth annual Millennial survey in 2016, overcoming the Millennial employee loyalty challenge is tantamount to hiring and retention success in a company. The survey reports two in three Millennials hope to have moved on from their current companies by 2020, and only 16% see themselves with their current employers a decade from now.
For companies to combat this and set themselves up for long-term success, they must focus on identifying, understanding and aligning themselves with Millennials’ values. Cultivating a corporate culture rooted in openness and fair treatment, supporting career development on the individual level, good company practices (diversity, brand alignment, communication, HR practices), and encouraging mentorship are just a few places to start.
Support Employees’ Professional Goals
Chances are, if you majored in Accounting or Finance in college, sitting for the CPA exam or obtaining a post grad degree in Business or Finance is likely on your mind. Companies should weigh the costs of advocating support for thee professional goals of future auditors. Support can come in various forms, depending on the size and revenue of your business. Partial tuition support and a willingness to work out a flexible schedule for CPA candidates can make the crucial difference for a job seeker choosing between two offers. When a company openly acknowledges the benefits of encouraging employees’ career goals, it fosters positive corporate culture instead of a culture of deceit and secrecy, where employees have to use sick or vacation days to advance their own professional goals.
Engaged employees care more about their performance at work and will put more effort into excelling at their jobs. - MicroEdge employee engagement survey, 2015
Make Employee Engagement a Priority
According to a 2015 survey by MicroEdge, engaged employees care more about their performance at work and will put more effort into excelling at their jobs. Employee engagement is defined as “a heightened emotional and intellectual connection that an employee has for his/her/ job, organization, manager or co-workers that, in turn, influences him/her to apply additional discretionary effort to his/her work.” In short, employee satisfaction has a definitive impact on a company’s overall health - something that will influence job-seekers researching companies on public sites such as Glassdoor and Quora. Learn more about steps you can take to foster positive employee engagement and employee satisfaction here and here.