In today’s tough economic climate, it’s imperative that job seekers are well equipped for a staunch battle against their competitors in order to win over potential employers. Likewise, employers are re-aligning their proposition to ensure they attract the top talent. Patricia Redmond, Practice Manager at Rosscot Chartered Accountants, provides an insider’s view of exactly what recruiters are looking for.

When undertaking our recruitment process, we realise that the people who work for us are the driving force behind our success as a business. Due to this, candidates must have more than just the right qualifications in order to succeed. Excellent academics and technical skills are mandatory but often it is personal qualities that make a prospective employee really stand out amid tough competition.

The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, is one of the most important attributes any candidate can possess. At Rosscot, many of our clients do not have a background in finance, so it is vital that we are able to liaise with them in a language that avoids technical acronyms. Furthermore, being able to influence others in the workplace in an effortless manner, especially in trying situations, is tremendously valuable to any company. We need our employees to take a methodical approach to their work. The ability to solve complex problems is essential when looking after clients in the accountancy arena.

As the accounting industry is constantly evolving, we need individuals who are able to adapt to transition quickly in order to give themselves and the company an advantage over other firms. The right candidate will be able to embrace change and see each challenge that they face as an opportunity to learn. To make our business stand out from the crowd, we ensure that we adhere to the strictest ethical standards in the process. We need to be trusted, so our employees must also have the honesty and integrity that enables us and our clients to have confidence in them.

Candidates must be eager to develop their career. As well as being a mandatory requirement for most of our recruits and employees, we want our team to remain competent and current in their role. It is important that we invest in our workforce to enhance their learning experience, as well as their expertise. In one of my favourite quotes, the CFO asks the CEO “What happens if we invest in our people and they leave?” to which the CEO replies, “What happens if we don’t and they stay?” In my view, this sums up the importance of continued professional development perfectly and the need for every organisation to grow their own talent from within. Although there is always a risk of recently trained individuals leaving the firm in pursuit of other opportunities, we believe it is more desirable to have a highly motivated workforce who are constantly striving for professional advancement rather than viewing their position as merely a job.

As a consequence, we believe that, in this day and age, it is still hugely important to offer a benefits package on top of a competitive salary, especially in Jersey, where there are skill shortages. Nonetheless, we are aware that these only form part of the employment package. On top of all else, it is our positive working environment and being part of a great team that really motivates our staff to deliver exceptional results. For any business, staff turnover constitutes a considerable expense, so recruiting and retaining individuals with shared values is vital in order to succeed.