Finance Professionals

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In the inaugral year of this award, Finance Professionals outshone bigger competitors to grab the accolade. The company, established barely seven years ago, is a specialist consultancy focused on recruiting, retaining and developing finance and accounting professionals for blue-chip clients across the banking, industry, commerce and public sectors.

In 2003 client and candidate satisfaction levels stood at 95% rating the company’s service as either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’, based on results used to identify problems and monitor feedback.

The company also boasted a 99% renewal rate through 2003 and 75% of its placements in the second quarter of this year were repeat business from the first quarter.

This was noted by our judges who highlighted the company’s ‘good focus on performance and customer satisfaction and a good after sales service’. Indeed the judges said of Finance Professionals’ submission: ‘This one stood out – amazing client statistics and an outstanding entry.’

This award was created to reflect the important contribution that recruitment consultancies make to the industry, particularly against a backdrop of a worrying lack of qualified accountants in a marketplace that is booming again.

To achieve such high rates of satisfaction, the business uses the most comprehensive and rigorous methodology – such as personality benchmarking and aptitude and personality profiling – to identify clients’ existing high performers’ core skills, as well as applying comprehensive job analyses to understand a role’s core requirements and maximise the chance of recruiting the right individual first time.

The methodology appears to be paying dividends. Our judges said: ‘The level of repeat business is very impressive. And they had great references to prove it.’ The company also offers candidates not actively seeking to change jobs but wish to be kept up-to-date on industry developments a unique service where they are assigned a specialist consultant, who contacts them at a frequency they determine. The service is free of charge and completely confidential.

Candidates’ comments included a graduate who said: ‘Easily the best service I have received.’

‘My consultant was easily the best I’ve come across. He was extremely professional throughout and the service level was very impressive,’ added an associate corporate financier at Macquarie Bank.

The criteria was set in order to identify the recruitment consultancy that could demonstrate an outstanding service throughout the year to clients and customers. Judges were looking for the consultancy that places people in the right organisations and follows them throughout their contract, ready to find them new positions, or their customers new candidates.

This could have been illustrated by the level of service measured by: customer satisfaction; repeat business and client growth; value added services to client and candidate; and innovation in delivery.

In addition to the entry, Accountancy Age looked to readers for feedback on the service levels they have received. Our judges supported their decision.

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