By: Greg Thorpe
Many employers are discounting a skilled pool of candidates because of a trend towards only shortlisting graduates for their job opportunities. I can understand why people might think that to get the most skilled and talented employees they should focus on those candidates with a degree. But this approach could be ruling out many highly suitable candidates who could be an excellent fit for the company.
This is especially true for accountancy and finance jobs. While you may think that stipulating that candidates must have a degree will help you shortlist and identify the most promising candidates; there is a pool of talent who have bypassed going to university that often have a better skillset and can offer your company much more than a graduate can.
Increasingly university is no longer being viewed as the only route into an accountancy or finance role. Not surprisingly the hefty price tag that comes with a degree – the average student debt is now £44,000 – means that many school leavers are looking for an alternative path into their career.
Any school leaver with an interest in accountancy or finance will no doubt be adept at crunching the figures and working out that they can avoid this debt by studying the AAT accountancy qualification instead!
This is what we’re seeing at Howett Thorpe. School leavers studying for their AAT at a local college can gain a professional qualification in 2 to 3 years at a fraction of the cost of studying as an undergraduate. Most also work at the same time, often supported in their studies by their employer, and gain valuable commercial experience that graduates simply do not have.
Typically, these candidates continue their studies proceeding onto CIMA or ACCA qualifications whilst working in junior and intermediate finance roles.
While there are many very talented graduates entering the job market every year, I think that some employers are missing out by favouring these candidates over non-graduates. I also suspect that this trend towards bypassing university is only going to increase, as more school leavers look for an alternative way of jumpstarting their careers without incurring huge amounts of debt.
So why should you consider employing a non-graduate AAT qualified candidate? Here are 3 compelling reasons to do so:
I am delighted to say that many of our clients – some of whom previously would only consider graduates for their roles – are reaping the benefits of recruiting AAT qualified candidates.
If you would like to talk about this in more detail, or have any other challenges with recruiting for accountancy and finance roles that we may able to advise you on, please get in touch. Call 01252 718777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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100% again another well matched candidate. The whole accounts department now consists of HT candidates.Practice Manager Legal Company in Surrey
We have used Howett Thorpe for a number of roles. The relationship we have with the staff there is excellent and we know it's only a quick call and they will have everything in hand.Human Resources IT company in Surrey
Richard was fantastic - great quality CVs and a pleasure to work with, would definitely use Howett Thorpe again.Human Resources Catering Company in Middlesex
Excellent service as usual! Wouldn't use another agency - Howett Thorpe are the only agency that don't harass me every other week!Finance Manager Leisure Industry in Surrey
Excellent service – this was a textbook exercise in how to recruit for a client properly.Group Finance Director Architects in Surrey
Julia has saved me so much time and effort by ensuring that I get the right CV's. She has made sure that the process runs as smoothly as possible, and is a pleasure to work with. I cannot recommend Julia highly enough.Group Financial Controller IT company, Surrey
Laura was amazing and made me feel at ease the whole way through the whole interview process to getting the job. She really is one in a million.Group Financial Controller G Potts
We have worked with Laura for several years now and she always manages to understand our needs, she is a dream to work with.Finance Manager Import Company in Surrey
Very helpful and prompt in arranging suitable candidates.Processing Manager Business Services in Surrey