Navigating Accountancy Recruitment: Why Choose Harvey John?

Over the last few years, the demand for accountants in the UK has been soaring, with an abundance of lucrative prospects for finance professionals. While it is an exciting time to enter the market, this surge in demand does pose new challenges – whether that be finding a new role or successfully executing your hiring strategy.

For hiring managers and job seekers alike, what was once a relatively straightforward task is now a minefield. 

This is why it’s imperative to utilise a specialist finance recruiter who can safely and efficiently navigate you through the market. 

Harvey John Accountancy & Finance are your solution 

Harvey John cut through the white noise of a very crowded accountancy & finance recruitment market.

Boasting an impressive 85 years of combined experience in both commerce & industry and public practice, our team is led by our Managing Director, David Waddell, and  consists of:

  • Four of the most experienced commercial finance recruiters in the South East
  • Two of the most experienced accountancy practice recruiters in the South East
  • Two ex-accountants, one of whom is ACA qualified
  • A team of  dedicated temporary & interim recruiters
  • A dedicated Candidate Engagement Manager

This wealth of knowledge isn’t just a feather in our cap — it’s a strategic asset that ensures a perfect alignment with your staffing or career objectives.

Forge a partnership with a Harvey John specialist, and you’ll tap into a network finely honed over two decades. These aren’t just casual connections; they’re the key to unlocking hidden opportunities in the job market. For clients, this means gaining access to top ‘passive’ talent who are not actively scouring online job ads. Seeking candidates for a niche role with specific skill requirements? We’re not waiting for them to come to us; we proactively hunt down and secure the ideal candidates for your unique needs.

Our team isn’t just a collection of recruiters; it’s a division of seasoned experts who’ve not only grown with the company but have been instrumental in its growth. Take Georgina, for instance, who joined us fresh out of university in 2010 and has ascended to the role of Associate Director, leading our Sussex industry market. When you engage with Harvey John, you’re not just getting consultants; you’re getting advocates who have invested years in comprehending your needs, ensuring unparalleled effectiveness for your business.

Built relationships resulting in repeat business 

Our track record speaks volumes — 80% of our 2023 commerce and industry roles and 75% of public practice roles stemmed from repeat business. That’s an impressive 77.5% repeat business rate across both divisions, showcasing the trust and satisfaction we consistently deliver.

chart showing our repeat business vs new client rate

But don’t just take our word for it, why not look at this case study with SwimTrek, detailing just how the Harvey John process works. 

“I said to David at the time of securing our FC, never has it given me this much pleasure to hand over a commission to a recruitment agency. And incidentally, this was the single biggest recruitment cheque I have ever written, by some way. But it has been worth every penny. This was by far the best recruitment process I have experienced and David simply knows his stuff better than any other recruiter I have met.” Ash Van Wensveen, Managing Director at SwimTrek.

It’s not only our clients who benefit from the service and depth of expertise that we offer, our candidates also stand to benefit:

“I have had the absolute pleasure of dealing with Georgina Trudgill for many years and she has found me the most amazing roles each time, in the finance field. She really understands people, especially the candidate and the role in question, as well as the company!  She has a rare gift indeed!! I am happy to report that, once again, Georgina has ‘matched’ me with a new company which I am very excited about joining soon. I cannot recommend her highly enough. Thank you once again Harvey John!” Finance Manager, Aerospace industry.

Accountants recruiting accountants

Market credibility is paramount – and what scream credibility more than a recruitment firm who hire experienced professionals into a recruitment role? 

 Dominique Smith ACA has sat on the other side of the table and enable Harvey John to bring even more insight and empathy to the accountancy & finance profession.   

“With almost a decade of hands-on experience as an accountant in practice, I bring a unique perspective to my role in recruitment. Having sat at the desk, fielded the client queries, managed the large portfolio and navigated tight deadlines, I genuinely understand the demands of the profession. This insider insight not only enables me to empathise with candidates but allows me to identify the crucial skills and qualities crucial that are needed in professional services. Whether it’s placing the right person in client-facing roles or addressing a candidate’s concerns about practice dynamics, my background allows me to pinpoint the ideal match, making the recruitment process a tailored and seamless experience.” 

Results that speak for themselves

In a fiercely competitive accountancy recruitment market, where recruiters often juggle multiple agencies, we take pride in our standout results:

  • 75% fill rate for industry finance roles
  • 25% success rate for practice roles

Notably, in the public practice arena, where exclusivity is a rarity, we secured:

  • 100% of placements through exclusive partnerships

In a candidate-driven sector, our ability to consistently secure top talent exclusively sets us apart.

The power of exclusivity 

As a hiring manager, the common instinct might be to engage multiple agencies to expedite the recruitment process. However, this approach can be counterintuitive for several reasons:

  • Repeated Discussions: Managing discussions on business, salary, and roles with multiple agencies can be repetitive and time-consuming.
  • Time Drain: Juggling interactions with numerous recruiters can consume valuable time that could be better utilised elsewhere.
  • Duplicate CVs: Dealing with duplicate CVs flooding in from different agencies creates unnecessary complexity and confusion.
  • Lost Selling Points: Rushed discussions with multiple recruiters may lead to your company’s unique selling points getting overlooked.

Opting for a sole agency, on the other hand, presents distinct advantages:

  • Dedicated Understanding: One dedicated recruiter gains an in-depth understanding of your business.
  • Tailored Shortlist: No duplicate CVs, just a carefully tailored shortlist of qualified candidates.
  • Time Efficiency: Streamlined and efficient service, saving you time without compromising on quality.
  • Sole Focus: Your hiring priority becomes the sole focus, ensuring a more personalised and effective approach.

Choosing a sole agency not only saves time but also guarantees a tailored and focused strategy for your hiring needs.

Experts in temporary & contract recruitment 

As year-end approaches and workloads surge, whether due to team sickness or impending maternity leave, our expert Temporary & Interim recruiters are here to seamlessly ease your burden.

We specialise in the ‘immediately available’ market, swiftly identifying top-tier candidates—whom we fondly refer to as ‘chameleons’—ready to adapt to your business needs. Our dedicated team ensures you work with seasoned professionals capable of hitting the ground running, boasting a combined 38 years of experience in our temporaries & contract division.

Efficiency is our hallmark. A recent client urgently needed an accounting professional, and within one week of receiving the role, we had secured a candidate who commenced their contract promptly—a testament to our rapid and effective solutions.

Our dedication to candidate engagement

At Harvey John, candidate engagement is a cornerstone of our success, and it’s what sets us apart. In 2022, we introduced the pivotal role of Candidate Engagement Manager, emphasising our commitment to fostering relationships with top talent.

This dedicated role involves continuous engagement and re-engagement with professionals, generating leads, building lasting relationships, and keeping individuals abreast of the latest industry trends. By having a specialist focused on candidate engagement, our consultants can concentrate on delivering exceptional service to our clients.

The impact of this strategic move was evident in 2023, with 12 professionals successfully placed with our valued clients, showcasing the effectiveness of our candidate engagement initiatives.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to work with candidates exclusively to get a real understanding of their motivations, and provide market insights to help them make informed decisions for their career going forward. Taking the time to get a real understanding of why a professional is seeking their next role helps me to match them to roles that will be suitable for them, as well as ensure that our clients are receiving profiles for candidates with the same values and vision.” Dani Prior, Candidate Engagement Manager 

Ready to experience our first-rate service? 

Meet The Team 

Commercial Finance

David Waddell – Senior Finance (Permanent & Interim)

Georgina Trudgill Sussex Commercial Finance (Permanent) 

Callum Mckenna  Sussex & Surrey Commercial Finance (Permanent)

Dominique Smith  Kent Commercial Finance (Permanent) 

Danielle Prior Commercial Finance (Permanent & Interim) 

Public Practice Finance

Claire Jones Public Practice, Sussex 

Dominique Smith  Public Practice 

Temporary & Interim 

Georgina Hayes – Head of Temporary & Interim

David Waddell – Senior Finance 

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