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Employer Branding for Accounting Firms: Jen Surtees

Rob Brown talks with Jen Surtees, Director of People Experience at Xero, about recruitment, retention, and building a solid company culture.

Welcome to the Accounting Influencers Podcast, going live every Monday to 150 countries and 30,000 accounting practitioners, fintech specialists and influencers in the accountancy, CPA and bookkeeping space.

In this Talent Special bonus, “Employer Branding for Accounting Firms”, Rob Brown continues his conversation with Jen Surtees, Director of People Experience (UK & EMEA) at Xero, to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing employers in the current recruitment landscape.

Jen shares her insights on how companies can differentiate themselves as employers to attract and retain talent in a highly competitive market. She also provides valuable tips on hiring for culture fit and identifying values that drive the organisation’s culture.

The conversation then shifts to the “great resignation,” where many employees are quitting their jobs in search of better opportunities or work-life balance. Jen discusses what companies can do to retain talent, including creating a culture that values employee well-being, development, and growth.

Finally, the discussion turns to remote and hybrid working, which has become increasingly popular after the pandemic. Jen shares her views on how companies can make this work with their culture and the benefits of providing employees with more flexible work arrangements.

Overall, this episode provides valuable insights and practical advice for employers navigating the challenges of recruitment and the work landscape. Jen’s extensive experience in coaching and developing high-performing teams and cultures provides a unique perspective on how organisations can thrive in these challenges.

Key takeaways

➤ In today’s challenging recruitment landscape, it’s essential to differentiate yourself by being clear on your employer’s brand and values and offering competitive benefits and career development opportunities.

➤ Hiring for culture fit is critical to building a cohesive and high-performing team. To do this, it’s essential to define your company’s values and behaviours, ask behavioural interview questions and involve multiple team members in the hiring process.

➤ The “Great Resignation” is a genuine concern for many businesses, and it’s important to focus on employee retention. This can be achieved through several strategies, including offering flexible working arrangements, investing in employee development and training, and prioritising employee well-being and work-life balance.

➤ Remote and hybrid working is becoming increasingly popular, but some businesses must be convinced whether it can work with their company culture. To make remote or hybrid working successful, it’s essential to communicate effectively, build trust, and offer the right tools and technology to support remote workers.

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Guest Bio

Jen is an experienced and passionate Director of People Experience at Xero, where she leads efforts to create an inclusive and supportive environment for employees. With a background in coaching and research into the psychological conditions for high-performing teams, Jen brings a wealth of expertise to her role. She has designed recruitment, development, and cultural programs for businesses that prioritize people and is committed to seeing the impact of her work firsthand. At Xero, Jen is dedicated to ensuring every Xero employee has a world-class experience. The company’s recent recognition as the 5th Best Workplace in Tech and 2nd Best Workplace for Women in the UK Large Business Category is a testament to her efforts. Outside work, Jen enjoys spending time with her family in their new coastal home, where they can explore the outdoors and appreciate nature.

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