Here at Churchill Howard we often wonder what it is about that title that newly qualified practice candidates seem not to be able to resist.
Perhaps the word ‘Partner’ draws candidates in after years of working in the hierarchy of practice?
Or is it because it’s seen as a world away from the, often arduous, audit work candidates are often keen to see the back of once qualified?
Either way, there’s no denying it’s a buzz phrase that attracts a higher application rate than other roles we, as specialist qualified finance recruiters, work on.
Businesses are picking up on this too. I have noticed internal recruiters, after seemingly struggling to recruit for a few weeks (should have used Churchill Howard?), change a vacancy title to include “business partner.” Interestingly though, the responsibilities in the advert stay the same!
But this isn’t the only route…
We consult with our candidates about the more technical routes available to them, on which they can build a better platform to progress later in their career. These roles are often paid better too.
I always ask newly qualified candidates what their aspirations are; quite often the response is something like “I want to become no.1 in finance for a SME/growing business.” To get that FC/FD role you will need a solid background in both commercial and technical finance – within industry.
I am working on a role currently that demands this skillset, and I’m having to reject candidates who have gone straight from audit to business partnering, with no industry reporting experience.
Therefore, assuming you are coming out of practice and aiming for that no. 1 in finance title, an internal audit/ financial accountant/ reporting role is often the logical first step. You are hopefully up to date in the reporting standards area already and after 18 months in a role such as this you are well positioned for a commercial finance role internally.
Surely the best business partners are the ones that understand where the numbers have come from before having to make decisions on them?