Accounting marketers aren’t going to start interviewing tax manager candidates (though that could be fun) but many have taken a larger role recently in some of the HR functions at their firms.
So who does what? Certainly most marketers don’t have the skillset to interview, hire or onboard new employees, much less handle the more complex and sensitive HR duties such as benefits management and employee discipline.
But there some HR tasks accounting marketers are well suited for. Here are ways marketing can help with recruiting and retention:
Social Media Marketing for Recruiting
Accounting marketers likely already run their firm’s social media accounts so they’re a natural choice to run recruiting accounts. Depending on the size of your firm and your business development targets, you may or may not need separate recruiting accounts. Some large firms have separate social media accounts especially for recruiting (see @LifeatPWC and @LifeatDeloitteUS on Instagram) but your firm may not need separate accounts, especially if Instagram isn’t a big business development tool for you anyway.
Firms targeting larger business clients may want to use their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for business development and their Facebook and Instagram accounts for recruiting and employer branding. Should your accounting firm be on TikTok? Probably not unless you have enough regular ideas for fun videos but it could be a unique recruiting effort!
Social Media Ads for Recruiting
Like how marketers at accounting firms have the most experience with social media accounts, they also likely have the most experience with social media advertising. Accounting marketers can help their HR colleagues develop ad content, copy, targeting and ROI goals.
What’s the best way to communicate what it’s like to work at your firm? Hearing directly from your employees! Have you collected testimonials from your clients? Well, now’s a good time to collect them from your colleagues, as well! Written – but especially video – testimonials from your colleagues is the best way to sell your firm to other accountants.
As your firm’s marketing team, you likely manage and had a hand in writing most of your webpages – the same should be true for your careers page. Who better to describe what it’s like to work at your company? Accounting marketers should work in tandem with their HR teams to select the wording, images and videos for their firm’s careers webpage. Especially these days, you need to sell your firm to get applicants!
Have you ever read a job listings written by an accountant? Yeah … they should probably stick to numbers and leave the writing to the marketers! Job listings written by HR teams are somewhat better but they’re often not experienced in writing to sell or convert and these days, you’re competing with other CPA firms more than ever for talent. Trust us – your job listings could use a marketing touch!
With HR departments busy with recruiting and employee onboarding (hopefully more than exit interviews!), some employee events previously organized by HR teams may fall to marketing (though aren’t we already used to being jacks of all trades?).
Marketers’ experience organizing events for clients and prospects lends well to organizing employee events. Holiday parties, post-tax season parties, employee lunches, tax season games and treats – accounting marketers are well suited to help in all those efforts. Plus you’ll probably earn some credit for helping to reward and delight your coworkers!
Company newsletters or internal webpages can help with employee retention by serving as a central location to keep employees informed and celebrate their achievements. Who better to run a company newsletter than the people already running the client and prospect newsletters – that’s right, it’s again the accounting marketers. It’s likely you already have a hand in your company newsletters or if not, it’s definitely an area where marketers can help HR.
These are just some of the ways marketing can help with recruiting and retention. Hopefully the two departments have a good relationship and can work together on recruiting and retention efforts.
About Lynn Olanoff
Lynn Olanoff is the marketing communications specialist at Concannon Miller, a CPA and business advisory firm in Bethlehem, Pa. and St. Petersburg, Fl. She has worked in accounting marketing since September 2015 and was previously a newspaper reporter for 13 years.