As a Senior Recruiter working with the practice market on and off for nearly 10 years, I’m constantly pushing back on reasons why not to join a practice. Below are my Top 10 list of reasons to stay, return, or move into Practice:
1.Great People Engagement
There has been significant investment in people engagement strategies and policies, to retain, attract and build their teams. This results in policies that recognise and reward the hard work that their people put in, thus removing the stereotypical atmosphere that people expect when working in professional services. Examples of policies include Duvet Days, Flexible Working, Remote working, Wedding Leave, Paid Maternity & Paternity leave. Additional strategies include, Wellness Clinics, Donut days, Pizza Fridays and other incentives outside of the normal team lunches etc
2.Promotion processes & The glass ceiling
Processes in respect to appraisals, performance reviews, salary reviews, Bonuses, etc. have all remained constant over time. When compared to industry, in public practice you can get a promotion for excelling in your job, you don’t have to wait for an opening or someone to leave and you always know what the plan is, or can be. In Practice, there is a defined path, and the ceiling is becoming a Partner, if you so choose and can make it happen. But not everyone wants that outcome but you have the diversity & flexibility of working for a Practice firm and it is up to you where you want to take it.
Yes, the hours can be long, but since the downturn, there is no business that doesn’t work harder and longer, but if anything, it is better in Practice. Busy season, project deadlines are what they are and they happen, but there is now greater flexibility for the most part within the firms. Short day Fridays during the summer, remote working, flexible working hours, part time hours are typically available across public practice firms.
4.Location, Location, Location!
The larger the firm, the more locations they operate in, so if you grew up in Galway, studied in Limerick and are working in Dublin but want to work in Cork, there will be a firm there. Public Practice is not restricted to Dublin, let alone Ireland, it is truly a global industry and as a Professional with experience in Ireland, the opportunities are endless.
The Boomerang is about going back to your previous employer; you can always go back! If you have trained in practice, the skill set you have acquired will always be valued. The firms are always welcoming people back, be it from other firms or industry, you are part of an alumni and as such you are always welcome
6.Variety of work
Most of the firms operate on an international networks basis. As multinationals enter the market and domestic business grow and look to operate in other markets the variety of work increases. As a result, the work available is varied, challenging and consistent giving employees the exposure required to consistently grow and develop.
7.Training & Development
In Practice, it is their business to know what they are doing, so that they can deliver to their clients. The investment in learning, coaching & development both Technical and Soft skills is second to none. Learning will be constant
In Practice, you will work with a diverse range of people, across generations, cultures and varying skill sets, both internally and externally. This allows you to learn from mentors, teach juniors and support your peers. This ultimately widens your network for the long term. There is also a great sense of diversity and overall a positive engaging culture which exists within Public Practice.
9.Facilities & Technology
To ensure their customers trust and to support them, investment in your surrounding environment, allowing you to get on with your job and provide you with the comfort, and tools to make that happen is central to yours and their success.
At the end of the day, practice is about winning new business, managing clients, achieving results and ultimately being highly competitive. To do this, your colleagues in practice are extensively networked, knowledgeable and passionate about the bigger picture that will have an impact on their clients, so at least there will always be an interesting conversation to be had!
Overall, what I can say, is that people in practice are great! They are talented, hardworking, engaging and generally very open, so if anything, that should be the main reason to approach me about a role in Practice.
About Abrivia Public Practice & Tax
Georgina Kirwan heads up our Public Practice & Tax division at Abrivia. Georgina has over 10 years’
recruitment experience, 5 years recruiting within the Big 4, the remainder being in-house with telecoms and banking. Georgina has developed an in-depth knowledge of the market and has an extensive network of contacts with the ‘Big 4’, ‘Top 20’ and smaller boutique accountancy firms.