The beginning of the year is the ideal time to reflect on your professional career and set goals for the year ahead. If you’re looking at a change in employment scenery or new work challenges in a different environment – there are distinct advantages to starting your search early in the new year.
There are also lots of good reasons to talk directly to the employers you are interested in working with, rather than waiting for jobs to be advertised or for recruiters to contact you.
As a recruitment specialist, here are my three top tips for those looking for opportunities in professional services.
- Be ready to send applications as soon as possible in the new year. Employment numbers have a history of increasing in January. In January 2019, there was a surge in employment figures across the country, with full-time positions making up the majority of the opportunities. The quicker you jump on opportunities – the better your chance of finding your next role.
- Make yourself known to employers before they have jobs available. January is also the month when many businesses take advantage of the quieter business environment to focus on planning for the year ahead – and often this translates to recruiting new team members. A number of Australian CEOs have indicated that they will be actively recruiting in the new year. If you’re already on their radar – you may get yourself to the front of the queue. In my experience, I often meet candidates who I know will be a great cultural and professional fit for our firm. I then put them forward to teams within the business who I know will be interested in their skillset for a future project or priority. Sometimes, an introduction to the right candidate is the catalyst that creates a job opening – so taking the initiative to introduce yourself can really pay off!
- Be active. Accounting was one of the country’s top five jobs on the rise in 2019. I am constantly seeking out candidates for our growing advisory and accounting teams. LinkedIn and industry networks such as Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand are some of the key avenues that I use to meet potential candidates. I also work with professional recruiters in the candidate market. However, with the increasing power and reach of social networks, I often find that when a vacancy arises, I already have a strong starting list of candidates through my online connections that I can contact directly and quickly. This saves time and allows me to talk one-on-one with candidates to give them the insight on the role. The most effective approach is for you to research the firms you are interested in and connect with their HR teams directly via LinkedIn – and then keep in touch!
There’s a lot of other benefits to connecting with HR professionals working inside firms:
- They have indepth understanding of the specific (and often changing) priorities for the firm that they work for – so they can help to “sell” you to the hiring managers.
- They can give you inside knowledge on the role, the team and the firm. They’re often one of the most connected team members in a firm and have their finger on the pulse.
- They can prep you for your interview and give you resources, tips and feedback that will help you to nail your meetings with teams.
- By following the company pages on social media and touching base regularly with the HR teams – you can keep up to date on what the firm is doing and the opportunities for new recruits.
2020 is shaping up to be another busy and fast-moving market for new roles across the spectrum of accounting and advisory firms. Taking the time and initiative to set yourself up for success is a great way to make sure your career moves ahead.
Connect with our HR team now to kick off your 2020 career journey!