Appealing to the next generation of employees

What is it the millennial generation – or the even younger Generation Z – looks for in an employer? We spoke to trainees at accountancy firm Barlow Andrews and the messages they gave us are ones that every company and organisation can take on board.

Amy McKnight joined after her A Levels and is studying towards ACA qualifications.

Monica Fatania has a geography degree and is also enrolled on the three-year ACA.

Liam Bradley took accountancy and maths at A Level and is studying for AAT levels 3 and 4 before going on to ACA.

Early responsibility

Younger employees are looking for an opportunity to take on real work at the earliest possible stage.

All the Barlow Andrews trainees are already working on sole trader accounts, under the supervision of more experienced staff.

“I was straight in at the end of the first week,” observes Liam.

Amy agrees, saying: “I like the way in which I’ve already been given responsibility for lower-level accounts preparation and audit work as I study towards my qualifications.”

Help, guidance and support

“People here are so friendly and helpful,” says Monica. “They don’t just tell you what you should be doing, but they take the trouble to explain why.”

“Everyone has been really supportive,” replies Amy. “What’s more, they’ve been giving me work that is well suited to my knowledge and level of experience.”

The opportunity for progression

“I had the choice of doing an accountancy degree,” says Liam, “but here I can pick everything up over time, with the help of my Training Manager.”

Amy says that the chance to study while you work is very attractive. “I’ve got into the habit of learning and revising while doing a full-time job!” she says.

Positive work culture

“There are good relationships here and supportive HR,” reveals Liam, “Flexitime means that we can ensure that both our work and study gets done. And there are staff socials too, where we all go out together.”