Accounting Influencers Podcast | Employer Branding for Accounting Firms: Jen Surtees - Accounting Influencers


Published on:

23rd Mar 2023

Employer Branding for Accounting Firms: Jen Surtees

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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Accountex. Accountex will return to ExCeL London UK on the 10-11 May 2023. Bringing together 250+ top fintech companies and cutting-edge start-ups, visitors can browse new software and stay up to date with the latest technology, tools and ideas in accountancy and finance. Alongside the exhibition, attendees will take away actionable tips from the CPD-accredited seminar programme, led by 200+ thought leaders shaping the profession.

Accountex is Europe’s largest annual event for the accounting and finance profession. It attracts 8,000+ attendees and 250+ exhibitors. Attendees can get up to 16 CPD hours with 200+ free seminar sessions across 12 theatres.

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About the Podcast

Accounting Influencers
Insights, interviews and commentary for accounting, CPA, bookkeeping and finance professionals
ACCOUNTING INFLUENCERS is a weekly podcast for accountants, CPAs, bookkeeping and finance professionals, together with the networks, associations, fintech vendors and influencers who lead them, work in them and serve them.

The show is hosted by Rob Brown. co-founder of the Accounting Influencers Roundtable (AIR). The style of the show is not overly technical/technological/tax in nature but more on people, performance and success in the accounting world. Popular topics and themes covered include:

☑ leadership, executive presence, trust, integrity & reputation
☑ M&A, business models, future proofing, drivers of change & disruption
☑ performance, values, culture, vision & strategy
☑ employer brand, gen z/millennials & talent - succession, recruitment and retention
☑ industry trends, statistics and patterns
☑ growth, marketing, differentiation & positioning
☑ pricing & profitability
☑ digitisation, cloud, technology & automation
☑ advisory services, niches & emerging markets
☑ environmental & social governance ESG
☑ diversity, equity & inclusion DEI
☑ professionalism, career development & CPE/CPD
☑ business acumen & commercial awareness

Sources and guests come from:
★ EXPERTS - influencers, disrupters, consultants, gurus, podcasters and broadcasters in accounting and fintech
★ EVENTS - live coverage and interviews from exhibitions, conferences and a range of industry events
★ MEDIA - newspapers, online outlets, commentators, writers, bloggers and authors
★ VENDORS - suppliers and providers of accounting apps, platforms, fintech and software
★ REGULATORS - professional accounting bodies, institutes and associations
★ NETWORKS - alliances, associations, networks and communities of professional firms and accounting practices
★ SOCIAL MEDIA - opinion pieces, high engagement posts and controversial conversations

Rob Brown is a renowned presenter, facilitator and chair of high level conferences, panels and events globally for the accounting and fintech profession. He is retained by many professional networks, alliances, associations, practices and vendors to chair their events and provide high-level interview content for their communities.

He is a dynamic speaker and accomplished expert on trust, reputation, employer brand, talent, career development, succession, gen z/generations, executive presence, referrals, networking and winning new business. He is also the bestselling author of Build Your Reputation (Wiley) and his TEDx talk ‘The Personal Brand of You’ has been viewed 320K times on YouTube.
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About your hosts

Martin Bissett

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Martin Bissett is the founder of the Bissett Group of companies that provide practice and personal growth communities, content, and continuing education exclusively to the accounting and bookkeeping professions worldwide.

Previously he established a high six-figure consulting firm while serving as a keynote speaker with over 100 one-off and repeat engagements to his name, as well as becoming the most published author on his topics of specialism with 11 books including 1 bestseller.

Since 1998, he has played a major part in working with over 1800 accounting firms in over 40 countries. These projects have led to those firms acquiring over £500m of recurring fees before inflationary increases, referrals and upselling are factored in. He stopped keeping track of this number over 5 years ago. Martin now advises both accounting practitioners and FinTech companies alike, at board level.

Rob Brown

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Rob Brown is a renowned MC, facilitator and chair of virtual and in-person panels, conferences and events globally for the accounting and fintech profession.

Rob is co-founder of the Accounting Influencers Roundtable (AIR) mastermind group and co-hosts the world’s most popular accounting and fintech podcast: Accounting Influencers.

Throughout the pandemic, he chaired 24 virtual panels with leaders of global accounting networks and alliances to discuss the key issues and challenges. Rob is retained by several associations and vendors to chair their events and provide high-level interview content for their communities.

He is the bestselling author of Build Your Reputation (Wiley) and his TEDx talk ‘The Personal Brand of You’ has been viewed 300K times on YouTube.