Allison Schlegelmilch is focusing on the big picture as she builds her team to meet the growing need for marketing services within her expanding firm. As director of marketing for Pennsylvania-based RKL LLP, she has a team of seven full-time marketing professionals and knows what the top CPA firm marketing skills are needed for high-growth accounting and advisory firms.
“I’m looking for people with a track record of adaptability and problem-solving,” Schlegelmilch said. “More than just skill sets, I’m seeking out the right mindset — willing to try new things, always learning and able to pivot quickly. Those were all factors in our success during COVID and they continue to apply to our quickly evolving industry.”
At Atlanta-based Bennett Thrasher, Marketing Manager Allie Donahue described her firm’s need for digital marketing acumen.
“We are focusing on staff who have experience leading digital campaigns and continue to evolve our website for lead generation,” she said. “Our website and thought leadership strategies have continued to grow and our next staff member will need to be well versed in digital and analytics.”
Donahue’s not alone in that goal. Recent accounting marketing postings on the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Job Bank reflect an increase in the demand for digital marketing skills, including increasing social media presence, managing social media content, cross-selling services, and applying web-based skills, CRM skills, and SEO/SEM expertise.
Talent from Diverse Industries
The same skills are in demand in other types of industries, making the competition for top talent more challenging now than it has been in decades, especially for managers intent on attracting candidates with previous professional services marketing experience.
Over the past 16 months, 74% of postings on AAM’s Job Bank preferred or required professional services experience when sourcing candidates for open positions. But that preference is far from universal. Bennett Thrasher is one of many firms with a positive view of candidates from other industries.
“We find it useful to look for staff without professional services experience as they think outside the box and bring new ideas to the table,” Donahue said. “As we grow, experience in a particular industry becomes less of a focus, and skill sets are more relevant. Hiring people from outside the industry brings a more diverse skillset and knowledge to the firm, resulting in more innovative ideas. That doesn’t exclude a great candidate with professional services experience, however.”
Read more about the top CPA firm marketing skills and talents accounting and advisory firms are looking for in the post-COVID environment in the Fall 2021 issue of Growth Strategies.
About Katie Cauley
Katie Caulie is the Senior Marketing Associate at Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC.