Home' A Plus Magazine : Feb 2013 Contents 34 February 2013
With multinational corporations moving into China and Mainland companies
boosting finance units, skilled Institute members are being poached.
George W. Russell asks how accounting firms can hold on to their key staff
iring a new employee re-
quires significant invest-
ment. Each worker has
to be recruited, trained
and deployed. A nd as
Mazars found recently, even relatively low
level employees are worth keeping. Eu-
nice Kwok, practising director in charge
of human resources at Mazars in
Hong Kong, tells of one junior staff
member who had not yet quali-
fied as a CPA but wanted
to take 12 months off
work to volunteer
with a charitable
would have declined to accommodate such
a request, given the status of the employee.
Mazars, however, saw a longer-term benefit.
“He was a talented junior... and we decided
to keep his job open for him and allow him
the one year sabbatical,” says Kwok, a Hong
Kong Institute of CPAs member.
While not every employee at every firm
can expect that kind of understanding,
Mazars, like many middle-tier accounting
firms, tries hard to keep its accounting pro-
fessionals. “ Retaining talent is a key issue at
Mazars,” says Kwok.
The continuing economic crunch world-
w ide has meant that hiring and keeping
skilled CPAs is a priority, while first-rate as-
surance and risk specialists have never been
in higher demand. “Competition is fierce for
top talent,” Kwok adds.
Keeping hold of talent is a global chal-
lenge. A 2012 study by the Washington-
based nonprofit human resources organiza-
tion WorldAtWork showed that a majority of
senior managers in the United States iden-
tified retention of key talent as their most
pressing human resources concern.
According to sur vey results released in
December 2012 by Towers Watson,
a human resources consultancy,
79 percent of Asia-Pacific em-
ployers encounter difficulties
holding on to critical-skill em-
ployees and 73 percent struggle to
keep workers with high potential.
The Big Four in Hong Kong
are finding that talent leak-
The continuing economic
crunch worldwide has
meant that hiring and
keeping skilled CPAs is
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