Millennial accountants satisfied with their employers, but still open to new opportunities, says study

A majority of millennial accountants and finance professionals are happy with their current employer but still think the grass is greener on the other side, according to a new survey.

Staffing agency LaSalle Network polled more than 4,000 accounting and finance professionals about their professional lives for its "What Accounting and Finance Professionals Want" report and found that while 61 percent of young professionals claimed to be "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their current employer, 72 percent were also open to new opportunities.

When asked why they were open to new opportunities, respondents gave differing reasons. Those with up to two years of experience cited a career or industry change as their top reason for leaving (professionals with six to eight years of experience said the same). Professionals with three to five years of experience said they were unhappy with their compensation, while those with nine to 11 years of experience cited an "unclear career path" with their current employer. Lastly, those with 12 or more years of experience said they were seeking improved benefits.

"It's an extremely tight labor market in general and our survey found that 72 [percent] of employed millennial professionals are open to new opportunities," said Maureen Hoersten, LaSalle Network's chief operating officer. "For firms this is alarming as only about a quarter of their millennial employees would say no to any opportunities. Retaining top talent should be a big focus in 2019 and providing learning, growth and development opportunities is a great way to do this. Make sure employees understand how they can grow and give them autonomy to seek out development opportunities like industry conferences, cross training, management training, etc. "

For hiring managers, this means a more engaging recruiting process will be needed to attract and retain top talent.

"The majority of those surveyed responded that they use job boards, specifically Indeed and LinkedIn, as their primary job-search tool," Hoersten added. "Don’t dismiss job descriptions. Spend time building out engaging descriptions of the role and the company. If there is room for growth, highlight that. Paint the picture of what the training and development look like. Spotlight varied benefits your firm offers. Share enticing information about the company culture and company’s growth and consider some of your top performers reviewing the posting to see if it speaks to them."

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • 62 percent of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with their company's workplace culture.
  • 35 percent of respondents said they have received two to three job offers in the last year.
  • 48 percent of entry-level professionals (up to two years of experience) say they plan on going back to school, 90 percent of whom would pursue a master's degree.
  • "Compensation" is the top factor cited by all respondents when considering what company to work for.
  • "Learning, growth and development" was the most important aspect of workplace culture cited by respondents.
  • Less than half (43 percent) of respondents are satisfied with their current employer's training and development programs.
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For more information, head to LaSalle Network's site here.

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