Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Attracting the Best Candidates

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Attracting the Best Candidates

Article excerpt

The subject of attracting the best candidates has many facets. It is essential to appreciate the candidates' perspective. What is important to them as they assess the profession as a career and later seek opportunities in it? What will attract them? What do they want in development and advancement?

MEASURING CANDIDATES

Are people with the raw talent and drive we need attracted to accounting curriculums and in sufficient numbers? This is an increasing debated issue. The answers will determine the caliber of student we will recruit and the future of accounting education.

The bright side to this issue is that accounting enrollments have stabilized and quality appears to be on the rise. The curriculum innovation being promulgated by the Accounting Education Change Commission grants, the number of high-quality master's programs emerging in response to 150-hour legislation and the addition of many excellent graduate accounting education programs jointly sponsored by firms and universities for nonaccounting majors all point to a talent pool that should be sufficient in size and strength.

THE PROFESSION'S IMAGE

Enhancing the image of the profession in order to attract students is a continuing challenge. Recent studies, including those by Professor Dan Deines at Kansas State University, indicate we still have a long way to go compared with other professions in terms of attractiveness in the eyes of high school and college students. Recent research, conducted by the Gallup organization for the AICPA accounting careers subcommittee, confirms the existence of negative stereotypes. The profession must be perceived as attractive to be seriously considered by the best students. Whether the issue is salary/compensation, status or more excitement and advancement opportunities in other fields, it is clear the profession is not totally effective in communicating its salient features to the professionals of tomorrow.

IMPROVEMENTS AHEAD

The profession, however, already is undergoing many changes that will make it more attractive to the best candidates. …

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