The Staying Power Blog

We write about our own experience scaling a professional services firm. Learn from our successes and failures. 

Persevering in the Beginning, Hiring for Culture Fit, and The Power of Peer Groups with Mark Goldman, CPA

Posted by Ben Isley on Jun 5, 2020 3:56:11 PM

In this episode, Brandon and Thomas are joined by Mark Goldman, a recruiter for accountants in the San Antonio, Texas area as founder and CEO of MGR Recruiters. Mark is also the host of the Where Accountants Go Podcast.

Why Start MGR Recruiters?

Mark entered the recruiting industry and worked up to being a partner at a recruiting firm. He was young and ultimately left the company over some disagreements. After a couple years out of the business, he realized he missed the work of helping others in their careers. After three years, he started MGR Recruiters. He rented a private office in a coworking space as a sole proprietor and just began making calls. He had some immediate success. He made his first hire after 8 or 9 months and hired the second about 15 months into the business. Today, Mark has five employees at MGR Recruiters and about a dozen contractors working on training programs on leadership and communication.

Hiring Internally

Hiring well in the first place is extremely important to avoid these issues upfront. For hiring internally, a different skill set is required to be a recruiter. It took a few years for Mark to figure out what worked for him and MGR and the ideal hiring profile.

"Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners... You think you're doing things the way you think they should be done, but in reality, a lot of us copy what other people are doing."

From a hiring standpoint, it helps to create a list of characteristics that you're looking for in internal staff. Trying to copy what others do to be successful won't always work for you. Characteristics such as a lack of attention to detail and excuse-making are non starters for Mark. At the end of the day though, it's a case-by-case basis. Every candidate is very different.

Mark believes the culture fit is the most important factor in hiring. He works to determine personality and culture fit on the front-end, then work down to the resume and other details. 16:00?

Why Do Some Placements Fail?

The number one reason for a job not working out is a lack of a quality relationship with the supervisors. People hire and keep around those that they like and enjoy.

Challenges that Almost Made Mark Quit

In the employment industry, recessionary times are very difficult. Mark has been through several recessionary periods, and these are definitely the most difficult.

"I find that going back to the basics and cutting out all the noise and the fringes that you let come into your business when things were going well... It's easy to spend a little time here and a little money there when things are going well because everything is plentiful. When it gets a little tighter, I find that going back to basics, your core mission, and executing on that."

By getting back to the basics, Mark means keeping in touch with the core wants and needs of candidates and employers. Many jobs aren't publicly listed, so staying in touch with people and keeping tabs on how their businesses are faring is very important.

Peer Groups

To receive and provide support during these times, Mark also keeps in touch with peer groups. In these groups, you interact with individuals in your same situation who are all working together on overcoming the same issues.

Building Trust

The Where Accountants Go Podcast has been very helpful in building trust and reputation. Over three years, Mark has been providing information about the careers of accountants and it has helping with positioning in the market. Mark also feels that he has learned a lot in the process and feels like he keeps better tabs on the accounting industry in general. When running a podcast, consistency is extremely important.

Career Tips for Accountants

"It's very important that we're valuable. As an accountant you need to be valuable to your employer. You need to make sure that they know what you're doing... If there's anything that you can do to provide extra value, that's very important."

With the current Coronavirus crisis and much uncertainty, you need to be valuable to your employer. In a general sense, the most successful accountants also learn about business operations. They really understand how their organization makes a profit. The more you care and learn about the inner workings of your company, the more valuable and irreplaceable you become. Ask yourself: Am I really being a trusted advisor? It's a lot harder to get rid of someone who provides additional value.

"The most successful accountants, the ones that continue to move up and are generally the happiest, are the ones that don't just learn about accounting, but they learn about business operations as well. They really understand how the organization they work for makes money... The more we care about how our organization makes a profit and how it continues to do well, and the more we learn about that, the more valuable we become. And frankly, usually the happier you are."

Learn more about Mark and MGR Accounting Recruiters:

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