Eunice Kwok interviewed by A+ magazine
With multinational corporations moving into China and Mainland companies boosting finance units, skilled Institute members are being poached. George W. Russell asks how accounting firms can hold on to their key staff.
Eunice Kwok, Practising Director in charge of Human Resources at Mazars' Hong Kong office, was interviewed by George Russell for his article on talent retention.
"Hiring a new employee requires significant investment. Each worker has to be recruited, trained and deployed. And as Mazars found recently, even relatively low level employees are worth keeping."
Eunice Kwok, Practising Director in charge of human resources at Mazars in Hong Kong, tells of one junior staff member who had not yet qualified as a CPA but wanted to take 12 months off work to volunteer with a charitable group overseas. Many firms would have declined to accommodate such a request, given the status of the employee. Mazars, however, saw a longer-term benefit. “He was a talented junior... and we decided to keep his job open for him and allow him the one year sabbatical,” says Kwok, a Hong Kong Institute of CPAs member. While not every employee at every firm can expect that kind of understanding, Mazars, like many middle-tier accounting firms, tries hard to keep its accounting professionals.
“Retaining talent is a key issue at Mazars,” says Kwok. The continuing economic crunch worldwide has meant that hiring and keeping skilled CPAs is a priority, while first-rate assurance and risk specialists have never been in higher demand. “Competition is fierce for top talent,” Kwok adds." [...]
Helping young members to see the path
Ultimately though, keeping employees loyal to a firm involves helping them to set and reach clear and meaningful career goals. “Once they have qualified, we review their desires and needs and try to provide a career path that suits them both personally and professionally,” says Eunice Kwok, Practising Director in charge of human resources at Mazars and an Institute member. “We see it as our duty to encourage staff development by presenting them with two things: training and challenge.”
Keeping things interesting
“We ensure our staff are compensated competitively for the passion they put into their work,” says Kwok at Mazars. “We also offer paternity leave, examination and study leave, additional daily allowance during overseas business trips, time off in lieu for overtime work and medical packages.” [...]
Providing mentoring can also help staff realize the opportunities available to them. In most firms, it’s the role of partners to identify and nurture potential leaders of the future. “Our partners are the talent spotters,” says Kwok at Mazars. “Key managers are mentored by senior partners from different Mazars offices across Asia and from different working disciplines.”
To read the full article, please click here .
- Article published in A+ magazine, February 2013 issue
- Article prepared and written by George Russell
- Illustration by Alan Ho