Accounting Grads, Employers Get Creative

Recent surveys indicate that those graduating with degrees in accounting or finance have excellent prospects for finding their first job. Many graduates, and employers, appear to be having difficulty connecting with each other. Some have resorted to creative methods to finding the right job or the right employee.


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For the first time, firms and government agencies hoping to employ accounting and finance graduates are turning to the airwaves. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is airing 30-second spots on financial news and smooth jazz radio stations in multiple markets across the country. The accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP has also hit the airwaves nationwide.

“We’re running it in every city where Grant Thornton has an office,” Chris Reed, human resources manager for Grant Thornton’s Kansas City office told the Wichita Business journal of the 30-second spots running during drive-time on approximately 1,500 stations.

Although it is not a complete surprise that employers are taking their recruiting efforts to the airwaves, it is an unprecedented step for a large CPA firm to mount a radio campaign to solicit resumes, according to the Wichita Business Journal. In many ways the current competitive hiring environment is something of a perfect storm caused by Sarbanes-Oxley and increasing awareness among law enforcement and homeland security personnel that following the money is an excellent tools for tracking bad guys.

Employers aren’t the only ones thinking outside the box. Accounting students and graduates are turning to eBay to auction off the “privilege” of interviewing them for a job. Other students are taking a more traditional route and using internships and volunteer positions to open up employment opportunities.

“(Interning here) gave me a huge advantage,” Joey Geter, a 24-year-old native of Natchez told The Democrat. “When you intern you’ve already gotten your feet wet and you understand how it works. I’m further ahead.”

Geter spent six years earning his undergraduate and masters degrees in accounting at the University of Mississippi. Last year, he took time off from his studies to intern with accounting firm Silas Simmons and Company during tax season. The internship led to the now permanent job.

The creative approach may not be the future of recruiting for either employers or job-seekers. Human resource experts point out that standing out from the crowd and establishing name recognition can be helpful in job searches today and in the future. Creative recruiting may be here to stay.

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