How to Solve the People Puzzle – Tips for Recruitment and Retention

Building a talented team – and keeping them long-term – can sometimes feel like you’re solving a complex puzzle. To help you put the pieces together and aid companies with recruitment, Robert Half and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) surveyed accounting and finance staff to learn what attracts them to work for a company and motivates them to stay.

The survey results can be viewed in the newly released report, The People Puzzle: Building and Retaining a Talented Accounting and Finance Team. Here are some key findings:


  • Work-life balance perks (55 percent) and opportunities for career advancement (37 percent) were the top two considerations when evaluating a job offer, after salary.


  • Nearly three in ten (29 percent) respondents rated their company’s onboarding process a one or two, while only 7 percent rated it a perfect five.

  • Twenty-eight percent said their preferred way to learn is through on-site workshops or brown-bag sessions. Another 23 percent favored off-site conferences or seminars.


  • Top contributors to job satisfaction include a supportive manager (cited by 21 percent of respondents), friendly coworkers (16 percent) and flexible work hours (15 percent).


  • More than three in 10 (31 percent) said they want to stay in their current position but build their skills and take on new projects, and another 29 percent would like to be a manager.

We asked our San Francisco Regional Manager, Karen Warren, what she is seeing locally when it comes to recruitment and retention at businesses in the Bay Area. According to Karen, while the market continues to heat up and new opportunities are emerging every day, many job descriptions have become a hybrid of multiple roles over the past few years when organizations were making due with less staff. Therefore, job seekers need to be flexible and showcase a myriad of talents to ensure they are seen as innovative and progressive. Additionally, she is seeing many companies offering extra perks and benefits which are a draw for many job seekers, such as flexible work schedules, unlimited time off and even onsite baristas and wardrobe design services.

Download the full survey results for more insights into recruitment and retention strategies to build your team. You can also access a breakdown of results by respondent age and company size.

Do you know what motivates your people in the workplace? Share in the comments section below.