Three ways to keep your best employees from leaving your firm

by: Ashley Binder

A few decades ago, it was fairly common for a person to secure a job immediately following graduation from school and remain with the company until retirement. Those days are gone, and now, hanging on to top talent is a significant concern for most employers. In October, PayScale, the online salary, benefits and compensation information company, reported that 82 percent of companies were worried about employee retention, up from 60 percent in early 2014. Never mind complex tax regs—it’s workforce retention that’s keeping employers awake at night.

While the PayScale survey spanned different industries, accountants are definitely among those feeling the pressure to identify, recruit, train, and retain talented people with specific skill sets. Accounting and finance jobs often pop up on lists of roles that are increasingly difficult to fill. To help get ahead of that curve, a firm should be well-respected and known within the industry and aim to be a place where talented professionals want to land. Engaging qualified candidates, before they even send in their resume, through larger firm initiatives like thought leadership, is a great way to top a professional wish list.

When you’ve attracted the right people with solid skills, you want to keep them. As with many other industries, the time and money accounting firms spend to ensure a new hire has career potential is significant. Holding on to a great employee takes more than just a competitive salary. Stellar incentives for winning new business, flextime, and the option to work from home all add to the compensation package. Nearly any firm could use some improvement in their retention strategy, and it requires tracking HR efforts that go beyond just the numbers. Here are three key tasks partners and managers can perform to keep valued staff members from leaving:

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