Career insights: why accountants get into recruiting

Vaco - Why accountants become recruiters - blog graphic

After a few years in public accounting, many accountants wonder if they can utilize their skills and backgrounds in a different line of work. A career in recruiting is an attractive possibility. 

Few college degrees provide a more streamlined set of career paths than an accounting or finance degree. These fields of study give degree holders access to a variety of professional opportunities where they can utilize their education and build their skills. A career in public accounting, for example, offers the chance to solve complex accounting issues while also developing a strong work ethic, connecting with top colleagues in the field, and acquiring useful knowledge on various companies and industries. 

For many accountants, however, the world of public accounting isn’t the ideal place to spend their entire careers. Some find themselves longing to focus more on the client-facing aspects of their jobs. Others crave more flexibility, better work/life balance, or the freedom to serve as a strategist or consultant.

If these scenarios sound familiar to you, you’re not alone. 

Our Vaco team is full of former public accounting professionals who transitioned into recruiting and business development; now, they help shape companies’ accounting and finance departments, and they have a tangible impact on their communities. 

Hear from some of the accountants on our team about why they got into recruiting.

Freedom and autonomy

One of the bright sides of the recruiting industry is that you have the freedom to manage your day and run your own desk. As a recruiter or business development representative at Vaco, you decide how your day will look.

This could mean attending meetings with members of your network, entertaining clients around your city, or hyping up your candidate before their final job interview. You truly have the ability to oversee your own success and create your own destiny.

Work/life balance

According to one Vaco accountant-turned-recruiter: “You can’t put a price tag on the fact that your life won’t be put on hold for five to six months during the year.” 

In the recruiting world, there are no “busy seasons”. You’re able to use your time outside of work to enjoy your hobbies and explore your interests, whether that’s traveling, getting involved in your community, or learning new skills. At Vaco, our team exemplifies the core tenet ‘work hard, stay free’. While we have the grit to ensure we deliver for our clients, candidates, and consultants, we also prioritize the holistic well-being of our staff.

Earn uncapped commissions

Part of what makes the recruiting industry appealing to former accountants is that you get out what you put in. It’s exciting to know that your efforts will be directly reflected in your long-term financial success. This knowledge motivates our teams and reignites their sense of purpose and appreciation for the world of accounting and finance.

As a recruiter, you can utilize your social and networking skills in tandem with your accounting experience, creating a vast potential for financial success and freedom.

Build deep relationships in the accounting and finance community

Former accountants have a unique ability to connect accounting and finance professionals with the companies who need them. When you’ve worked in the industry before, you have insider knowledge of the skills and competencies hiring companies are looking for, and you can identify candidates that are a perfect fit. When you have this kind of native industry knowledge, hiring managers are more likely to view you as a trusted partner. 

Transitioning from accounting to recruiting doesn’t mean you lose meaningful interactions with accounting and finance executives; if anything, you gain more exposure to them by assisting with their talent needs. 

Additionally, recruiters and business development professionals can stay connected with their former accounting colleagues throughout their careers. These relationships are invaluable, especially as your former colleagues transition from early career roles to more senior positions and eventually into leadership.

Find true fulfillment in what you do

Fulfillment is a word that comes up often when you talk with former accountants who have pivoted to a career in recruiting. They knew their work in accounting was beneficial to others, but they weren’t necessarily making personal connections with clients and stakeholders.

In the recruiting industry, you can build lasting relationships and make a measurable, positive impact on people’s lives—whether that’s by helping professionals find roles where they’ll thrive or providing career resources and guidance when they’re at a crossroads in their jobs.

It’s heartwarming when you are able to extend that much-anticipated job offer and hear the sheer appreciation in a candidate’s voice, knowing the excitement and positive change it will bring to their life. You get the gratification of seeing the impact your role as a recruiter has on individual people. 

Surround yourself with a team of like-minded professionals

When you come from an accounting background, it’s common to be a little risk-averse, so pivoting to a new direction in your career can be scary, especially if you’ve never considered recruiting before.  

In recruiting, you retain a macro view of the accounting and finance markets while working alongside accomplished colleagues who are navigating the same career switch that you are. 

The camaraderie that grows out of shared experience can help you find community in your new professional life. Over time, those same relationships can become key contributors to your success and growth as a recruiter. 

Making the switch from public accounting to recruiting with Vaco

If your background is in accounting and finance, and you’re searching for a career where you can tap into your personal strengths while still utilizing your accounting background, recruiting may be the career path for you. You can have autonomy over your day, achieve better balance between work and life, build deep relationships within your community, and control your financial future. 

Does this resonate with you?

Vaco is currently hiring recruiters and business development representatives who have a background in accounting. Apply today.

Want to learn more about Vaco? 


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