Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Long-time Recruiter Recommends Targeting Growth Firms

Sometimes obvious job strategies bear repeating, says a leading West Coast recruiter of finance professionals. Among her suggestions for conducting a more efficient job search, Susan Afan of Menlo Park, Calif.-based staffing firm Robert Half International says that job-seeking accountants in a falling economy should spend more time pinpointing growth firms. This strategy can save hours in the long run, Afan says. “You have to look for the emerging businesses, the hot industries,” she says.

After a decade heading Robert Half offices in Northern California and Hawaii, Afan recently became senior regional vice president overseeing Robert Half’s San Diego office. The office’s clientele has included a number of major healthcare organizations. Healthcare along with government and education have been among the few economic bright spots on the West Coast and nationally. Afan says job seekers looking for positions in industry might focus their search in these industries.

For prospective agency candidates, she recommends identifying accounting firms with strong practices in these sectors and perusing rankings of accounting’s largest companies. For example, Accounting Today’s most recent, annual review of leading accounting firms highlights those with the largest revenue increases from 2007 to 2008. Alexandria, Va.-based Kearney & Co., which focuses on government, topped this year’s list with 51 percent revenue growth.  Nine other firms posted at least 25 percent growth. A separate list identifies firms that were not among the top 100 in revenue but are considered rising stars. These firms included Greenfield, Ind.-based Kemper CPA Group and Salina, Kansas-based Kennedy and Coe

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