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Define your "X-factor": How to win Filipino accountants from competitors?

Define your "X-factor": How to win Filipino accountants from competitors?

The war for talent is on and the revolutionary force behind it is data.

Data's surging volume and value for business has triggered the clamor for professionals who can process, interpret, and communicate numerical information. Rapid globalization and technological disruption has infused the accounting profession with renewed vigor. Unleashed from the restraints of number crunching, accounting is crossing over to any sector and industry–such as governance, IT, and BPO–and conquering the realms of marketing, strategic development, and risk management.

The global demand for financial professionals has been unrelenting. On the local front, the accounting landscape has become a battleground with homegrown companies going head-to-head with overseas multinational firms for English speaking Filipino professionals. Armed with generous compensation packages and travel opportunities, overseas entities are luring certified Filipino accountants by the thousands despite the job prospects at home.

With strong rivals to contend with, how can you emerge victorious in the war for talents?

The key is defining your "X-factor." By finding and showcasing your competitive advantage, your business can level the playing field. JobStreet's Laws of Attraction (LOA) tool contains a wealth of insights on the talents in the accounting/audit/tax services industry that can help you know them better than your competitors.

Attract on target! These tips that can give you the upper hand to draw, hire, and retain the right talents with precision.

1. Entice the younger professionals

Step up your game by investing on young talents. Harness their technological strengths and digital acumen in cloud computing and smart software systems to improve the speed and accuracy of your company's financial processes.

The LOA study on 23% Gen Z (ages 18-23) and 57% Gen Y/Millennial (ages 24-34) reveals that young Filipino professionals seek stability and financial security, and are keen to work in industries that would support these priorities.

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Based on LOA Data Lab's research statistics, accounting respondents prioritize salary/compensation most of all, even more than that of the total Philippine market. A surefire way to win them is by offering generous salary and benefits packages that could compete with overseas opportunities. They are looking for a generous base salary (88%) complemented with mandatory government benefits (96%), health and life insurance (93%), and double pay for public holidays (89%).

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Add compensatory perks–business equity shares/stock option, sign on bonus, travel and meal allowance, guaranteed 14th month pay, and night differential–and you've got a winning package!

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2. Cultivate career advancement

With the rising mental and technological demands from accountants, career/development opportunities are at the pinnacle of their priorities, outweighing the overall baseline expectation in the Philippines.

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What differentiates Gen Y from Gen Z is their passion to further their skills and broaden their horizons more than to have a generous paycheck.

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Drive competent candidates with promotion opportunities, clear growth and succession plans, and self-development programs, then fire them up with overseas training prospects and you'll come out topping their list.

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And yes, they are willing to drop overseas employment opportunities altogether if local options meet their expectations. Ultimately, keeping them sharp and smart is a win-win strategy for all.

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3. Know what women want

The accounting/finance profession is a female dominated one (73%), so it's worth looking at your job's attributes from a female perspective. LOA's research indicates that women candidates are attracted to jobs that offer flexibility in terms of time commitment.

Faced with the daunting tasks of reconciling huge figures, consolidating volumes of reports, and putting in long hours to meet deadlines, talents assert their strong preference for an employer that supports their work-life balance.

Though salary/compensation is their strongest driver, they have a need to devote quality time for their families and personal activities. Support this by giving overtime pay (84%), following non-working public/general holidays (78%), adhering to a five-day work week (69%), and offering the option to cash out unused annual leaves or take unpaid leaves (63%).

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Do leave out the shift work option as accounting professionals are put off by night shifts.

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Lastly, remember that though women outnumber the men (27%), no man should be left behind.

4. Guarantee permanent positions

Temporary roles and full time positions are in constant tug-o'-war in the field of finance and accounting as the heaviest workload is seasonal. However, contract roles, jobs on project basis, and part time work arrangements are the major dislikes of the respondents.

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This reinforces the study insight that financially secured jobs (82%) with permanent roles (81%) and high staff retention (31%) are absolutely important. This can be your key in getting highly skilled and more experienced staff onboard.

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A targeted recruitment strategy is your best bet stand out from your international counterparts. Be "X-ceptional" and explore more data on JobStreet's Laws of Attraction portal to win Filipino accounting talents and knock out the competitors!

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