Hey, tax executives, you're losing your mid-level Gen X pros.
6 candidate interviews we had last week were all Gen Xers. What did they all have in common, and why did they want to explore our client's opening?
THEY FEEL STUCK (no promotions or added responsibilities unless someone above them resigns or retires).
Gen Xers are tired of playing the "long game," patiently waiting for senior tax leaders to resign or retire. For much of their career, they've been placed in the backseat, and because of it, they've specialized (to a fault) and now lack the breadth and depth of tax experience needed for number one and two seats in tax departments. They see that the boomers above them didn't retire throughout COVID; they are sticking around for a bit longer.
So Gen Xers want to take their future into their own hands and not wait for their career to progress due to someone else's plans.
Your Gen Xers are interviewing and looking for companies that promote not just to fill seats but to acknowledge their career goals and expertise. Gen Xers are also willing to take one step back in title in order to get the experience they need to launch into top tax seats later. Don't underestimate them; they are ready to make strategic moves, willing to relocate, and willing to go the extra mile to make their career goals come true.
Many boomers achieved No. 1 and No. 2 seats in their tax departments because they got in early while the company was experiencing rapid growth. This is what Gen X leaders are on the hunt for as well. They are ready to get on a rocket ship and make the most of the next quarter of their careers.
So, if you want to keep your Gen X mid-level rising tax leaders, here's what we suggest:
1. Skill Development and Training:
- Encourage mid-level employees to acquire new skills and certifications that align with their current role and potential future responsibilities.
- Provide training opportunities to enhance their knowledge and expertise.
2. Cross-Functional Projects:
- Assign mid-level employees to cross-functional projects that expose them to different aspects of the organization.
- This will broaden their skill set and make them more valuable in future roles.
3. Mentorship Programs:
- Establish mentorship programs where mid-level employees can be paired with senior leaders.
- This can provide valuable guidance and insights to help them grow professionally.
4. Leadership Training:
- Offer leadership training programs to mid-level employees, focusing on skills such as communication, decision-making, and conflict resolution.
- This prepares them for higher-level responsibilities.
5. Performance Recognition:
- Recognize and reward exceptional performance through bonuses, awards, or public acknowledgment.
- This helps boost morale and motivates mid-level employees to continue excelling in their roles.
6. Succession Planning:
- Implement a robust succession planning strategy to identify and groom potential leaders within the organization.
- This involves identifying key positions, evaluating potential candidates, and developing plans for their advancement.
7. Internal Mobility:
- Encourage a culture of internal mobility, where employees can apply for openings in other finance and accounting departments.
8. Create New Roles:
- Assess the organizational structure and identify areas where new roles or responsibilities could be introduced.
9. Employee Development Plans:
- Work with mid-level employees to create individual development plans that outline their career goals and the steps needed to achieve them.
- Regularly review and adjust these plans based on their progress.
10. Feedback and Communication:
- Maintain open communication with mid-level employees about their career aspirations and provide constructive feedback on areas for improvement.
- Clearly communicate the criteria for advancement within the organization.
Remember that the key is to invest in the professional development of mid-level employees, provide them with opportunities to grow, and create an environment that recognizes and rewards their contributions. This prepares them for future leadership roles and fosters a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.