Tax preparation is big business. In 2018, there were 300,000 people employed at 109,000 firms, generating $9 billion in revenue. Additionally, because it is required, tax preparation tends to be recession resistant, and this translates into fierce competition for seasonal workers. Use these seven recruiting strategies you can implement now to reach the seasonal hires you need for this tax season.
Creative Recruiting Strategies for Seasonal Tax Preparers and Accountant Staff
1) Social media. With 76% of all U.S. Internet users on social media (Pew, 2015), and 92% of employers using social media, social channels are low-cost and necessary channels for broadcasting your job openings. Additionally, the audience on social media skews slightly younger, and a presence on Facebook and Instagram can help you broadcast what makes your tax industry jobs appealing and why a younger demographic should consider developing skills in tax preparation, accounting, and tax related customer service roles.
2) In-person hiring events. Career fairs have been a go-to for high-volume hiring for decades. When we hold open houses for candidates, our goal is to get the maximum face-to-face engagement with qualified applicants. This starts with targeting the right candidates with an open house event promotion, an easy RSVP process, and a multi-touch strategy for following up with rsvp’s to drive attendance to the event.
3) Educational opportunities. Make your seasonal tax positions more than just a way to earn a paycheck by offering staffers the chance to increase their skill set. Whether you provide an educational course that covers new tax laws or offer training on the latest tax software, give people something new to put on their resume that will increase their marketability in the future.
4) Flexible scheduling. This works well for tax preparation positions, as you’ll need staff to work evenings and weekends in order to meet the demands of your customers. Many part-time workers have multiple jobs to get the hours they need and they can't add hours at one job on only a temporary basis. Others are working part-time because that works best for their family situation. The number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time work fell by nearly 250,000 people in 2017, according to the Labor Department. Flexible scheduling can be a perk for employees who are juggling multiple part-time jobs.
5) Targeted recruitment advertising. Consider where your ideal seasonal candidate spends time online and develop an advertising strategy to hyper-target top talent. This can be effective to reach candidates beyond traditional job boards. Additionally, don’t rely on a single talent attraction site or post your job on only one website. Get your job in front of the most specific audiences possible. Break your recruitment marketing budget into pieces and divvy them up between websites, social platforms, and job boards. Consider utilizing a talent attraction platform like Talroo to target your recruitment advertising and get the most out of your budget by being able to make adjustments based on what’s working and what isn’t working in real time.
6) Retargeting. Consider the candidates who visit your career site or open a recruiting email, but don’t apply. With online retargeting, you can entice these high priority candidates to attend an in-person hiring event.
7) Keep current and former employees engaged. Remember, the crunch for hiring for seasonal tax industry positions isn’t going to get easier. Building relationships through ongoing communication with your top performers gives you an opportunity to work with them again in following seasons, and with less training required making your onboarding of a seasonal workforce faster. Having recurring seasonal workers who are familiar with your company is the best possible option when it comes to scaling your seasonal hiring efforts.
Personalization Can Be a Recruiting Differentiator
Competition for tax preparation workers is tight. By raising your employer brand and offering perks like educational opportunities, you can stand out in a sea of tax firms. Consider what makes your company different, how you engage seasonal staff, and personal communication with candidates. Automation via your ATS is great for acknowledging applications and advising of next steps, but a personal email or message on LinkedIn can go a long way towards standing out in the mind of your ideal candidate.