What is Grant Thornton’s Secret to Senior Hiring Success?

When it comes to recruiting for a senior role, the stakes are raised. A bad senior hire can cost the company a third of the candidate’s first-year earnings, potentially threatening the survival of the business.

For Grant Thornton, the fifth largest accounting firm in the UK, the key is in its people. This Thursday, resourcing team managers Sam Harrison and Jemma Pearson will both be speaking at our upcoming breakfast event in partnership with Horrex Cole, alongside Charlotte Lamping from Transport for London. Below is a taste of what you can expect to hear from them on the day.

Senior-level candidates are rarely active on the job market – instead they’re waiting for the opportunity to find them, so traditional sourcing methods like job posts won’t always do the trick.

Following their successful move of experienced hires in-house at the beginning of 2016, the Grant Thornton’s resourcing team were asked to do the same for senior hires. They ran a successful pilot programme for the financial services sector, and used it as the foundation for their new in-house senior hiring strategy set up across the entire business in July.

“The success of our experienced and trainee hiring teams has won the hearts and minds of the business and motivated us to transform our senior hire recruitment as well,” Sam explains. “We will talk about our journey setting up this new in-house function, along with the challenges and lessons we learned along the way.“

The power of the people

“We’re heavily focused on networks within our business, especially for niche roles. Attracting talent  from more reactive routes to market can be challenging, therefore we’re working a lot with the business to identify top quality peers that they know within the market,” he adds.

“It’s very much a long-term approach, as it often can take six months or more to bring someone in for a senior role. But it helps to get our brand out there, engaging the market from the inside and using people within our business to tap into their networks.”

That personal touch

Because of the longer recruitment process for senior roles, constant communication is key to keeping the candidate excited about the new opportunity. Having a resourcing manager take full ownership of the senior hiring process and ensure consistent personal touch points with each candidate is key for a positive experience, according to Sam and Jemma.

Change is good

“We learn something new each time we have an interaction with a candidate and we always try to make it better. We delve into data and metrics to understand what works for us and to shape our strategy moving forward,” Jemma says.

Grant Thornton’s openness to change and commitment to innovation has helped to shape their new in-house hiring strategies and as such their resourcing function has been recognised in the external market for delivering a high quality and cost-effective service.


Read our post-event whitepaper to get expert insight from Grant Thornton and TfL on how to deliver a senior hiring strategy that brings significant ROI to your business.

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