Respondents to an exclusive BVWire™ survey on recruitment and retention were guardedly optimistic about their firm’s hiring prospects in the near and longer term. Indeed, the survey clearly reflects a “glass-half-full” mentality, with some respondents believing now’s the time to snag higher quality talent and prepare for the growth that is ahead in areas like shareholder disputes, forensic services tax/estate, family/matrimonial, and bankruptcy work.
For a fuller picture of the data and an insider’s perspective on the topic from BV firm recruitment expert, John Borrowman, see the upcoming May 2009 issue of Business Valuation Update. In the interim, respondents’ comments should prove insightful:
- “This is a great opportunity to hire talent if you also have the ability to wait this out and be poised for whatever comes next. Fantastic time to build infrastructure, create awareness in the marketplace, and get one’s house in order.”
- “[There is a] slowdown in M&A activity and the SFAS 141 business is slow. However, with falling stock prices, we have seen an increase in SFAS 142. In addition, cash strapped employers may begin issuing stock options as a way to retain talent so we expect to see stock option valuations rise.”
- “Clients are holding onto their money and delaying hiring professionals, if possible. They also tend to be more price sensitive, but in general, business is steady. We have been able to hire talented personnel, due to our firm culture more than anything else, but there are also more qualified candidates available.”
- “More people will be available, but many will not have the right background.”
- “We are getting access to better qualified individuals who might otherwise choose to go work for a larger firm.”
- “The potential client base is smaller as companies go out of business. Congress could have larger affect than the current economy, with proposed changes in estate tax law and possible elimination of certain valuation discounts.”
- “The economic down turn has created opportunities in both tax and dispute resolution. Financial reporting and tax assignments are increasing for both asset impairment and gifting. During stressful economic times, disputes including shareholders and divorce also increase. The biggest problem is availability of qualified appraisers. We are actively engaged in a search for good people to add to our practice.”
- “We have seen significant drop off in our volumes of "regular" BV work and also BV in litigation.”
- “The opportunities for valuation, litigation, and forensic services are out there. You have to work a little harder than in the past to get them. Too many people don't want to market their services and as a result see their practices decline. Attorneys, bankers, CPAs, insurance agents, etc. are prime markets for new work.”
- “It seems to have slowed a little. I try to increase my referral base since each engagement is a "one-of" and must be immediately replaced.”
- “I am a sole practitioner and, fortunately, have seen little if any affect on my practice from the current economic conditions, so far.”
- “With the slowdown in M&A activity, clients are holding onto their money and delaying hiring professionals. They also tend to be more price sensitive. But in general, business is steady. We have been able to hire talented personnel, I think due to our firm culture more than anything else, but there are also more qualified candidates available.”
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