The market for newly qualified accountants is the busiest it has been in my five years working in recruitment and you will certainly have some good options available to you should you decide to leave practice. The first job you take outside of practice is an important decision to make, and it is a choice that you should put some serious thought and consideration in to.
What kind of job would I like to do?
As a newly qualified ACA accountant the experience will be attractive to a variety of different employers. Rather than just having the mind-set to take any job that is not external audit, decide what kind of jobyou would genuinely like to do. There is the option to move into financial accounting/financial reporting/financial analysis/internal audit etc. jobs. The first job you move into outside of practice may shape your career for the next 3-5 years. Given the amount of time you have spent studying, working long hours etc. in external audit, it is important that you move into a job type that you will genuinely enjoy and hopefully stay in for a number of years.
What kind of industry would I like to work in?
If you have spent 3-4 years working in audit you will have first-hand knowledge of companies in a variety of industries. Think about companies that you have audited that you would actually like to work for yourself and then target a job in a similar organisation. If you decide to continue your career in Dublin you are lucky in that there are a number of large employers in most industry sectors including Banking, Insurance, Funds and Multinationals. Even Irish owned SMEs and start-up companies are starting to hire again. It will be easier to secure a job in the industry sector that you audited but some companies will see that your skills are transferable and will offer you an opportunity to change sectors. Speak to your recruiter about which companies will give you this option.
Should I stay working in practice beyond my training contract?
Whilst a significant percentage of accountants working in audit will want to leave practice as soon as their training contract expires a lot will want to stay working in practice. This can be a good option for some candidates. You can progress to managerial level, manage larger teams and be exposed to more senior stakeholders in a variety of different companies. This will be advantageous to some candidates in the long term. However if you are not going to be exposed to anything new by staying on in your current role then it may be better to move on.
There is also the option to move to a different accountancy practice on completion of your training contract. Big 4/Top 7 audit firms are always looking to hire good auditor seniors. Changing accountancy practices may give you exposure to new clients and may give you an opportunity to audit clients in a different sector than you are used to. If you qualified in a Top 20 practice it may be a good idea to get a year experience in a Big 4 audit firm if the ultimate aim is to get a role in one of the big multinational/financial service organisations.
What is most important to you in a new job?
All candidates will have different motives for leaving practice. For some they will want to join an organisation big enough whereby they can constantly progress and develop over the next 5-10 years. Others will prefer to go into a role that will offer more variety and more of a mental challenge. For some newly qualified accountants after spending three years working 60 hours a week they will just want a job that will allow them to finish work every day at 5pm. Whatever your motivation, there will be different options available.
If using a recruiter be honest with them and this will result in you interviewing with the most appropriate companies for your skill set. Also speak to colleagues in years above you in practice who have left to join companies in industry as they will be able to give you first-hand information as to whate roles outside of practice really are like.
Get your CV updated
Until you interview your CV is the only document you have to describe your skills and experience. Despite all the resources available to candidates (CV templates, CV advice online etc.) some qualified accountants still cannot prepare good CVs. Your CV should do you justice and describe all relevant experience you have built up over your training contract. If you are unsure about CV layout or what to include then speak to a recruiter directly and they can help you with this process. In general your CV should be clear, concise, easy to read and very informative (facts and figures). If you have trained in audit list the different clients you have audited and describe their size (turnover, number of employees etc.) and industry sector. Recruiters see hundreds of CVs from Big 4 candidates every year and most CVs look very similar – what distinguishes one from the other is the different clients that you have worked on. Your audit clients will also be the first thing employers will look at when reviewing your application along with your educational record.
In certain cases your recruiter may get you to tailor your CV for an application to a specific role – this will significantly increase your chance of securing an interview.
Meet with a recruiter
Meeting with a recruiter in person will be much more beneficial that just having a phone call with them. At an initial meeting you can have an open and honest conversation around what kind of job you actually want. This should result in you only being put forward to jobs you would be genuinely interested in rather than being submitted to ten different jobs just because your skill set is desired by the client. Applying to jobs of no appeal to you is a waste of the recruiter’s and the client’s time and does not reflect well on you either. By meeting with the recruiter at the beginning of your job search you will also distinguish yourself from the other hundred candidates coming out of training contracts at the same time. A good recruiter will also be able to match you to a company environment that will suit your personality as well as your skill set.
Don’t wait for someone to approach you – be proactive and contact a recruitment consultant yourself. It is nice to be approached about a job and feel as though you are being headhunted for a specific role, however often the recruiters with the most jobs for you will not have the time to search through LinkedIn for hours to find suitable candidates. By registering your details with a good recruitment consultant you will ensure that you are kept aware of all suitable job opportunities that may arise. Even if you are not looking for a role immediately the best way to find out about good jobs is by having a relationship with the recruiter that will be speaking to these companies. Also, recruiters that have worked with companies for a number of years tend to be able to influence clients into meeting candidates that they have met and can personally recommend.
By applying to a job through an agency you should be able to gain a competitive advantage over applicants that apply directly. Your recruiter will be able to give you advice about the company, the work environment, the hiring manager and also be able to conduct interview preparation with you. They will also be able to keep you better informed of the timelines involved in the process and will be able to ensure the hiring manager makes a quick decision if you are interviewing with a couple of different companies.
What salary can I get?
Naturally the salary you attain in a new job is an important factor when making your decision about what company to join. Luckily as a qualified ACA accountant in Dublin you can expect to receive a good salary in the current market. Companies in different industries pay different various salaries so have a look at salary guides for an idea of what you may be eligible for. Sometimes companies will offer lower salaries at first but with a view to increasing your remuneration and benefits as you progress whereas other companies will offer a higher salary initially but will offer no salary increase or no room for career progression over the next three years. Be open minded regarding salary and listen to the advice of your recruitment consultant as well as from fellow colleagues, managers etc. The first job you take outside of practice is an important decision and taking a short term view in terms of salary expectations may not be the best move in the longer term. Also, in reality a couple of grand difference in salary is going to make little difference to your monthly take home pay.
Should I take a contract job?
A lot of candidates will only consider permanent jobs when looking to change. Whilst this is understandable in some circumstances (mortgage application etc.), ruling out contract roles can seriously limit your options. The majority of large multinational or financial services companies in Dublin tend to offer contract roles initially. In general these tend to be permanent in all but name and will be extended beyond the initial fixed term contract. Again your recruiter will be able to offer you advice around which companies will make you permanent and which ones won’t.
I plan on going travelling after my training contract ends
On completion of a training contract or within a year of qualifying, a large percentage of accountants will go abroad to travel or to work. Depending on your personal circumstances you may be better off staying in your current practice for six months before going away whereas in the majority of cases it may be good to try and get 6-12 months industry experience before going away as this will make your CV look more marketable when you decide to return to Ireland. Of course this is dependent on individual circumstance and jobs on offer.
If I fail my FAEs?
If you fail your exams you will still have a significant number of options available to you. The first thing you should consider is whether you plan on repeating your ACA exams the following year. If this is the case, the best option will likely be to stay working in practice as no company in industry will offer you the amount of study leave that you will get in practice. If you are unhappy in your role maybe consider joining another audit firm that will offer a new environment and new clients to work with.
A good option for a lot of candidates is to change to ACCA. This is still a prestigious qualification that will be hugely beneficial to you over the course of your career. You will be exempt from most exams and should be able to qualify within a year. The exam format is much friendlier to people in full time jobs than ACA exams are. The majority of accountants that train in industry will undertake ACCA exams rather than ACA ones. If you want to stay doing ACA maybe consider taking a contract role until next summer and then take a couple of months off to study for your FAEs once again.
You will still have lots of options available to you to move into industry. You have the same amount of work experience as those that are qualified and your skillset will still be in demand to employers. You may not command the same salary that qualified accountants can but you will still get a good package. You will also have a year’s experience in industry (rather than another twelve months in practice) and when you qualify next year you should be able to command the same salary as your work colleagues who pass the exams this year.
If you have any questions on your present position or are interested in roles that Sigmar has on offer please contact our team – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01-4744600.
Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 4 December 2017
Sigmar COO, Frank Farrelly elected as President of the NRF for a Third Term
Sigmar COO, Frank Farrelly elected as President of the NRF for a Third Term
Congratulations to our COO, Frank Farrelly, who has been elected President of the National Recruitment Federation (NRF) for a third term. Frank is co-founder of Sigmar Recruitment and is listed in the Staffing Industry Analysts Top 100 Most Influential Staffing Leaders in Europe. On being reappointed for the position of President of the NRF Frank commented, “I am delighted to be taking up the mantle of NRF President for a third year. It is an honour to work with CEO Geraldine King and her team as well as the 3 committees whose immense efforts have contributed to so much success. The last 2 years has been a great journey on a range of topics such as education, standards, policy, membership, Garda Vetting, Data Protection, and the WEC conference to name but a few. As an industry our members do great work for candidates and clients across the country. Recruitment continues to evolve and will continue to do so as ‘work’ changes more rapidly than ever before. For 2019 the NRF will continue to raise our standards, be innovative and provide real value to our members. We plan to do this through improving education and through increasing our contribution to the skills and recruitment agenda.” Previous to Frank’s 2 years as President he has 7 years as a committee member, Treasurer and Secretary for the National Recruitment Federation in Ireland, before being elected Vice President in 2014. He was part of the team that lobbied Government on the Agency Workers Act, Zero Hours Contracts and ‘If & When’ contracts. He leads the team that lobbies the government on employment legislation, recruitment matters and GDPR, and was instrumental in helping the NRF secure an Apprenticeship in Recruitment practice on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications in 2018.
Almost half of workers resent colleagues who are consistently late
Almost half of workers resent colleagues who are consistently late
A new survey conducted by Jobs.ie has found 46% of workers feel resentful of a colleague who is consistently late for work and 50% of respondents in senior management positions said that colleagues arriving late for work creates workplace animosity. Half of employees said that they would like to see flexible working hours, and a further 27% would opt to work from home. The employee punctuality study by Jobs.ie also found that the most common excuses for being late include Traffic (59%) Oversleeping (33%) Weather (26%) The survey also found that 20% admit to being dishonest when explaining why they were late for work. Just over 40% of employers are said to have a 'zero tolerance' policy for lateness in the workplace, enforcing punishments if employees fail to show up on time with one in four employers surveyed admitting they have fired an employee for consistent lateness. Among those surveyed on their employer's attitude to punctuality, 41% described being punctual for work as absolutely essential. Some 37% said there are no real consequences for being late, while 8% said there is a casual approach to punctuality and employees arrive when they wish, and 10% said that provided an individual gets through their work, nobody really notices what time they start work. Overall, 96% of all employees said that they always arrive to work on time, with over half of employees (59%) aiming to be in work at least 15 minutes ahead of their scheduled start time. But those who work nine to five prove to be the least punctual - with less than half (47%) arriving to work on time every day within the past 12 months. 71% of respondents who work early morning shifts and 71% of those who work night shifts were always on time in the past year. Jobs.ie general manager, Chris Paye, said: "It may come as a surprise to many people that Irish workers are actually a very punctual bunch and take great pride in being on time or even early for work. Given this context, it's inevitable that tensions can arise in the workplace if one colleague is consistently late without a valid excuse. One potential solution is moving towards greater workplace flexibility, particularly in relation to start and finish times and remote working facilities. However, this is not a universal solution and may not be effective in all organisations.
6 Qualities of a Great Recruiter
6 Qualities of a Great Recruiter
Being a recruiter isn’t for everyone but if you have these qualities, it could be the perfect role for you… Target Driven Recruitment is a competitive industry, so a recruiter needs to be driven and work well under pressure. As a recruiter, you will have weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly targets to achieve. It’s a target driven career, so a person in recruitment needs to be motivated by targets and enjoy working to achieve long-term and short-term goals. Confidence Recruiters are often extroverts. A recruiter needs to network and interact with people on a daily basis, so it’s important that the recruiter is confident. It’s not only about being confident enough to network but to make others confident in you. It’s important that a recruiter shows confidence so that their client, candidates and their team is confident that they can deliver. Curious Someone who has an interest in digging for information and is naturally curious is an ideal recruiter. Being vigilant and eager to ask a lot of questions is the type of person who will find out everything they need to know and share the most up to date relevant information with candidates and clients. Curiosity killed the cat, but it made the recruiter. Superb Communication Skills A recruiter deals with people constantly so it’s important for them to be excellent at communication. Communication in every sense must be perfected by the recruiter and this means listening as well as talking and also written communication. There is administration work involved in recruitment so having good writing skills is very important. Marketing/Sales Skills In recruitment you will be selling the benefits of using your company to both jobseekers and employers. Sometimes you will even be seeking out new business by doing research on who’s recruiting and phoning around to talk to prospective clients. A recruiter needs to know how to market and promote the roles they are trying to fill for clients, as well as market their candidates to clients. If a recruiter has a handful of ideal candidates for a role and the client refuses to consider any of them, then the they probably aren’t suited to recruitment. A large part of recruitment is selling and if you don’t have negotiation skills or selling skills it’s probably not the job for you. Mentally Strong Recruitment comes with a lot of failure and I mean a lot! Sometimes you just miss out on your target, or your candidate pulls out of the process because they get another job or the role you were working on gets filled by someone else. Rejection is part of being a recruiter, but a great recruiter knows how to deal with it. We’re not saying in order to be a great recruiter you must accept failure and not react to it, but when things go wrong a great recruiter can deal with the disappointment and be equipped to self-motivate themselves to keep trying. Thinking about working in recruitment? Why not work at Sigmar? Contact email@example.com
7 Types of Scary Employees You Don’t Want To Be This Halloween
7 Types of Scary Employees You Don’t Want To Be This Halloween
We could all tell some horror stories about people we have worked with and this Halloween we thought we'd share 7 types of employees that will give you nightmares, as well as some tips to help those of you who find these spooky profiles a little too familiar… The Ghost This type of employee just never seems to be at their desk. When you call them you always reach their voicemail and you could be waiting hours for a response from them. They really make getting things done very difficult. It’s not that they are neglecting their responsibilities and not doing their job, they just have a habit of scheduling too many back to back meetings giving them very little time to catch up when they get back to their desks. If this is you and you always find yourself away from your desk and bombarded with emails and missed calls when you return, why not try to spread out your meetings throughout the day or save travel time but having your meetings over the phone or by Skype? This way, if an urgent email appears, you can be aware of it when it happens and you won't always find yourself chasing your tail. The Zombie The zombie has usually been out the night before (bit of a socialite). They enjoy an all-night party session, which isn’t a problem, until they show up to work hungover. They lack concentration and enthusiasm and make you feel tired just by looking at them. They have also been known to call in sick because of a hangover on a few occasions. We have all been there at some point but being hungover constantly in work is not a good idea and missing work for a hangover is a huge no no! Always try and keep your nights out for the weekends and if you do have to go out midweek make sure you don’t skip dinner and stop drinking after a reasonable time. Your colleagues thank you for it, not to mention your boss. The Werewolf Calm and collected one minute, aggressive the next. This type of worker is changeable, like a werewolf during a full moon. Everything is going fine but then they can lose their temper over something in an instant. Keeping a level head in work is very important, no matter how frustrating something may seem, it’s not worth getting angry and upsetting your co-workers. Step outside for some fresh air if you’re feeling a little hot headed and if that doesn’t help you should always talk to your manager if you feel you are too stressed in work. The Sasquatch Personal hygiene is so important, but this employee doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. They don’t wear suitable work clothing and forget to properly wash and groom themselves. They’re basically a bit of a slob and resemble a sasquatch. Everyone needs to keep on top of this. Keep chewing gum in your pocket or bring a toothbrush to work, make sure your clothes are clean and fresh and if you have any concerns you could ask someone in your work who you trust if they have noticed a problem with your hygiene. Better to be safe than sorry. The Mummy This person worked hard to receive their qualification but has never spent any more time upskilling. They have years of work experience but haven’t put any effort into professional development. Just like a mummy they are preserved from ancient times and now their qualifications are outdated. It’s always important to up-skill in your profession. If you haven’t done any workshops or courses since your degree don’t worry, there are plenty of different professional development courses you could sign up to today. Pick a part of your job that you really enjoy or that you’d like to learn more about and sign yourself up to do a workshop or course or attend an event/conference about it. It's also a great way to become enthusiastic about your job again and feel inspired to try new things in your role. The Headless Horseman This employee is completely scatter brained. They change their mind constantly, forget things and leave their colleagues feeling very confused. A lot of the time people in work will avoid involving this person in projects or asking them to help because they know they will only cause hassle. Post-its, reminders and a diary is what this employee needs. As frustrating as it is to work with a Headless Horseman, imagine being one? They just need to spend some extra time in their day organising themselves and their priorities. The Freddy Krueger Named after the famous character from “A Nightmare on Elm Street“ film series, this person is a combination of some or all of the scary employees above - making them a thing of nightmares! They are difficult to communicate with, they don’t have much interest in professional development, they have anger issues and problems with personal hygiene. Much to say this worker is the worst of all 7. The Freddy Krueger employee is a thing of nightmares! If you think you could be this person follow the tips in the blog. All of the issues are easily fixed, if you are passionate about your job you will have no problem turning things around.