Name: Josh Tarica and Brad Hughes
Title: Managing Directors and Co-Founders
Company: Beech Valley
Talent retention continues to be a major challenge for firms. In what ways do you see firms successfully evolving and adapting?
A major challenge within public accounting has always been matching staffing capacity with client demand. Audit and tax work is seasonal and client demand for advisory projects is often unpredictable. Firms may find themselves understaffed or overstaffed throughout the year, while employees may feel either overworked or disengaged.
Firms that are adapting to this challenge are leveraging the growing portion of the accounting workforce that is interested in freelance consulting. Augmenting existing staff with contingent workers allows for efficient matching of resource capacity and client demand. Firms doing this effectively are experiencing increased employee satisfaction and engagement, while having greater ability to win and take on new client opportunities.
What trends have you noticed amongst your talent pool?
We consistently survey our pool of consultants, and 85% have indicated that a better work/life balance is the top benefit of consulting, while 87% felt in control of the hours they worked. Similarly, we have seen a significant increase in the number of freelancers who prefer remote work.
Independent consulting and project-based work is a seamless way for accounting professionals to have more control over their schedule while working remotely.
How do you see yourself working with firms in the future?
Our clients have the ability to grow their firms without any staffing-related constraints, as they have instant access to thousands of U.S.-based accounting professionals available for project work.
For example, if a firm’s client lets them know that they’re undertaking a U.S. GAAP-to-IFRS conversion, they can leverage our A-List Platform to quickly identify an available expert in accounting conversions. Having access to our platform eliminates the need to evaluate staffing capacity prior to bidding on a project – available resource options can be identified within minutes.
We are also expanding our platform to allow firm leaders and partners to more easily collaborate with each other to manage a firmwide contingent labor pool. This new capability will allow firms to continue to lean on us as a crucial component of their growth model.
How do you ensure that the accounting and finance professionals you provide to clients are of high quality and meet their specific requirements?
Our vetting process sets us apart in the staffing industry. We invest heavily in digital marketing and sourcing strategies, and we have attracted approximately 200,000 applicants to join our network.
Each consultant in our network has gone through a skill and experience review, a series of pre-hire assessments, and a live interview with a Beech Valley recruiter. We look for reliable professionals who excel in both the technical aspects of the profession, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with clients.
Our vetting process is run entirely by a team of Talent Operations professionals, all of whom have previous experience at Big 4 firms. Currently, just 2.2% of applicants make it through the entire process to be added to our platform.
“Beech Valley has provided us with the on-demand talent we need for busy season and special projects. Most importantly, Beech Valley has forced us to rethink our labor model in order to effectively meet our growth goals. We will certainly continue to use Beech Valley as our firm continues to grow.”
Ryan C. Hudson, Senior Talent Acquisition Manager, Schneider Downs