Welcome back to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on our powerhouse recruiting team.
We met up with Alexis Schumacher, Executive Recruiter on the Accounting & Finance National team at Green Key. Alexis graduated from Penn State with a degree in Communication & Media Studies, followed by a Masters in Human Resource Management from Saint Francis University. Her natural ability to communicate, along with some professional experience in public relations and outreach, has allowed her to flourish as a recruiter. Now that’s she’s been recruiting at Green Key for over a year, she was able to reflect on her relationships with candidates and where she sees the accounting industry headed.
What are some major hiring trends happening in Accounting & Finance right now?
Flexible work isn’t just a temporary pandemic response, it’s become a consistent aspect of our everyday, modern working lives. Still, many of our clients are transitioning back into the office on a hybrid basis. They understand the desire for flexibility but want to cultivate an environment for their staff where they’re seeing growth and inclusiveness. A lot of clients are pushing for three days in the office at minimum. Consequently, we see a lot of professionals not ready to make the jump back into office. For the last three years, people have worked remotely and it’s shifted the way Americans work. A large portion of professionals want to continue that flexibility and sometimes it creates a divide.
Are there any challenges you foresee for clients and candidates in the year ahead?
With the divide between remote and in-office work, there can be some logistical issues when scheduling interviews. I try to put things in a different perspective and make things appear “pre-pandemic” as we all get back into those routines. Alternatively, we also have to be upfront with our clients when we hear positions are five days in-office. The chances of placing candidates five days in the office is relatively slim. Both sides have to be flexible and understand that a hybrid work model is the new norm.
Do you see potential layoffs in your industry or effects from the recession?
Unfortunately, we don’t know the future and can’t predict the market. So, when solicited for advice, I let them know that it’s better to take the leap of faith and remember that they can’t control certain things. Right now, however, the accounting and finance industry is not slowing down. In fact, we are in high demand and get new clients daily, which means clients are searching for new talent and candidates should stay open-minded.
How can accounting and finance candidates break out in this industry?
The biggest thing to remember is that while money is important, it’s not the only factor when considering a career move. It’s crucial to consider where you want to be in 5 years and which steps to help get you there. I try to facilitate conversations that make professionals think about the “bigger picture.” Recent grads for example should be talking to clients in their industry even before graduation. Walk before you run and put yourself in a position to move up the ladder.
What surprises recruiters the most when working in this industry?
Sometimes you’ll find that professionals stop replying or communicating properly, which can be frustrating. Like the horse and water proverb, I can lead someone to an opportunity, but can’t force them to interview unless they’re ready.
Are there any specific roles you are seeing growth in?
Right now, busy season is in full swing. So candidates aren’t likely to leave their current positions until their season has concluded. It can be harder to reach those specific candidates and assist our clients with filling vacant positions if they’re seeking a public accounting professional.
What are your goals for the team in 2023?
I’m hoping that those who I’ve placed in the past will referral their connections to me or reach back out when they’re ready for a new challenge. It’s a sense of self-fulfillment. It makes me feel as though I’ve truly cultivated a strong and comfortable relationship with my candidate, which as recruiters, is your one of your biggest goals. I want to make sure I’m making connections with people who will remember my name and the impression I’ve made on them. When I was at Penn State, I was involved in a lot of leadership programs/roles and received the Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award. My involvement taught me how to be a true leader and that it’s about the little things that make positive impressions on the people around me.