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Haines Watts Case Study

Article Background


Haines Watts is a Top 15 accountancy practice with a strong presence across the UK. The network consists of 60 offices which are independently owned to uniquely combine an independent working environment with a leading corporate name.


Haines Watts offices across London and the home counties were finding continual struggles in their recruitment needs which led to a centralised, internal recruitment team being formed and the introduction of an internal recruiter to help turn this around. We were required to support with significant roles across this network which were of critical business need, including a particularly challenging Audit Senior role in Esher.  Haines Watts recruitment team assigned Pro-Finance and a selection of other agencies this role on a trial period to help determine suitable suppliers to form part of their PSL. We were looking for a fully qualified Audit Senior to be based in their flagship Esher office, having to overcome the challenge of the appeal of easy access to Central London in terms of both location and salaries to appeal to suitable candidates. The general market shortage of candidates at this level combined with these additional factors contributed to making this a particularly difficult role to recruit for. 


Pro-Group met with Steph Morris when she first joined the business to discuss the new process and plans for the business going forward in relation to recruitment. There was a clear agreement that things needed to change to have more success in filling these roles. We were able to put forward our ideas on process and how we could help Haines Watts make process more efficient, effective and competitive within the marketplace. We took background information on the business and their vision, specific detail around the office set up and team as well as a clear outline on recruitment process. We ensured that there would be an open dialogue on candidate’s motivations and what they were looking for to ensure transparency throughout the process. We also ensured all contact went through Steph to ensure there was a clear communication channel. We pursued many options to identify suitable candidates. Particular focus was on targeting individuals working in London that would find it appealing to cut down commute time and cost. This was done through targeted advertising, talking to our candidate network based in the area to either generate suitable individuals or referrals; we also headhunted from targeted competitors in the region. 


We successfully identified 3 candidates that we deemed suitable to be shortlisted and put forward to Haines Watts for the position. We provided a detailed candidate background and offered our thoughts of the candidates after meeting and interviewing them at length ourselves. Of the candidates submitted, 2 were initially interviewed by the recruitment team. One candidate was put forward by the resourcing team for Face to Face interviews with the partners, during this process we managed client and candidate expectations and helped co-ordinate diaries to ensure interviews were arranged promptly and conveniently. It became clear after the 2nd interview that the candidate was suitable and as such it was confirmed an offer was going to be made before they went in for their final meeting. 


The candidate has been there just over 4 months and despite having to adjust in terms of environment, has settled well and is really enjoying his time there. He is just starting out in his career as a fully qualified accountant with a clear idea on the potential as to where he can go longer term in the business. The client is also really happy with how he has formed an integral part of the team. As such, we have now been approved as a Tier 1 supplier on their newly formed PSL.  "Pro-Finance has been a great support to me through my first few months at Haines Watts. Working successfully with me on an especially difficult to fill role (Audit Senior) in a tough location. Pro has been constantly dedicated in sourcing good quality candidates, providing regular updates, as well as being patient and understanding to our processes and time frames" - Stephanie Morris, Senior Recruitment Officer.