Recruiting newly qualified chartered accountants is an important and challenging process. More than merely looking for skills, you also have to assess candidates’ potential for development and cultural fit in your organisation
When recruiting new CAs(SA), you have to get to know each individual’s personality, likes and dislikes, talents and skills. It’s an important decision that has serious implications both for your business and for the person you are hiring.
The hiring process itself can be daunting, with hundreds of CVs flooding in at the end of each year. There is no shortage of supply, especially considering these trainees all finish their articles at the same time. In addition – and with all due respect to the candidates – at this stage in their careers, everyone’s CV looks pretty much like everyone else’s.
‘Some years ago we decided to streamline this process for both the employer and the employee by incorporating video interviews into the hiring process,‘ says Blue Recruiting director James Hobson. ‘These videos are combined in a “flip-book” e-catalogue where employers can get to know the potential candidates in their own time and filter out the individuals who grab their attention.
‘Thanks to the use of this technology, Blue Recruiting has become the go-to recruiter for newly qualified CAs(SA) and we have consolidated this through our partnership with The Johannesburg Article Clerks Association (JACASS).’
Blue Recruiting hosts a number of events annually (last year these were all done virtually) to assist and help educate JACASS members in terms of finding employment after their articles. Sessions included CV Writing, Interview Skills and What CAs(SA) Do (a Q&A webinar attended by 400 trainees where the Blue Recruiting team interviewed past article clerks about what their current jobs entail).
‘Through our interactions with these trainees we realised that they are a valuable source of information and opinions, which would be interesting to potential employers. That is how our trainee survey was born.
‘By asking these trainees to complete a survey we get an opportunity to gauge the prevailing mood among respondents with regard to their future, as well as a number of hot-point political and social issues currently affecting South Africa.’
The results make for interesting reading, providing CEOs, CFOs, financial managers and other potential employers with a number of salient insights into the prevailing views of these rising stars.
This is the first of these surveys, which will be published annually. The results serve as a barometer of these young professionals’ sentiments about various aspects including the economy, South Africa’s political landscape, COVID-19 and other topical subjects.
Some key findings
- Most SAICA trainees enjoyed being able to work remotely, but many admitted that they felt less effective working from home.
- Almost 50% of the trainees were very concerned about having to find employment after their articles. Only 11% felt that their CA(SA) qualification meant that finding employment would be easy.
- The vast majority of trainees felt that the South African government has done a reasonably good job in terms how it has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 3% of candidates said they would never want to live and work internationally, while almost a third said they would consider a permanent move abroad.
- In terms of the factors which determine job satisfaction, personal growth is by far the most significant factor, with 60% of trainees rating it as the most important factor, well ahead of remuneration.
- Almost half of the respondents indicated that although they felt that South Africa has its issues, it could be in a much worse state than it is currently in, while one in four trainees think that the country is in the worst state it has been since the start of democracy.
- 83% of the respondents believe that the ‘Chartered Accountant of South Africa’ designation has devalued over the past three years as a result of the series of scandals in South Africa’s private sector, as well as state capture.
Blue Recruiting has been assisting with the recruitment of finance staff for seven years and has become a leader in the field of placing newly qualified chartered accountants after the completion of their training contracts.