Reports Best Places to Work

Triple crown

Company has led its category three times in five years

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“We treat our employees like family,” Jennifer Dodge
says in explaining Accounting Principals’ high retention rate.

top large employer

Accounting Principals officials describe their employees as a very loyal group. “Our voluntary turnover is almost nonexistent,” says Jennifer Dodge, managing director for the  professional recruitment and staffing company’s Richmond market. “We have a very tenured team here in Richmond.”

Some employees in the Richmond office, which includes the professional firm’s Ajilon and Parker + Lynch divisions, have been on the payroll for 20 years. “Our retention is well above what you would typically see in this industry, and our clients benefit strongly from the knowledge, the network and the relationships that are retained through our phenomenal people,” Dodge says.

She credits the company’s ability to retain employees to its culture. “We treat our employees like family. We all take care of each other, and this starts with the tone at the top,” she says. “Our executive leadership team truly cares about our employees and their families.” 

Accounting Principals has ranked first among large employers three times in the five years it has been a Best Places to Work in Virginia winner.

This year marks Accounting Principals’ 20th anniversary in the Richmond market. The firm provides executive search, professional consulting and temporary staffing services through its divisions.

Accounting Principals, for example, specializes in accounting staffing, while Ajilon focuses on corporate office recruiting. Parker + Lynch, on the other hand, provides executive search and professional consulting services.

The company traces its roots to Accounting Solutions, which started with a handful of offices in 1991. That company was sold to Accounting Principals in 2005, which in turn became a part of The Adecco Group in 2010. Adecco, based near Zurich, Switzerland, is the world’s largest staffing firm in the world and a Fortune Global 500 company.

“We were lucky enough to have been acquired by a much larger parent company, which is a global leader in professional recruitment with over 50 years in this business,” says Dodge.

Adecco has more than 33,000 employees worldwide. Its 2015 annual report lists the company’s annual revenue at 22 billion euros (a little more than $22 billion at the current conversion rate).

Accounting Principals has more than 75 locations and about 1,000 employees nationwide. The Richmond office has about 20 employees. 

Dodge says that, with its acquisition by Adecco, Accounting Principals now has the best traits of local and global companies. “We have been able to keep the local relationships, feel and culture that have made us so successful, but we are now backed by the resources of a global leader,” she says, adding, “One of the biggest changes was an enhanced benefit package.”

For example, Accounting Principals provides a wellness benefit that pays for portions of gym memberships, yoga classes and personal trainer sessions as well as smoking cessation and weight-loss classes.

The company also has sales contests offering employees substantial rewards. “We have given away BMWs and huge trips in our sales contests,” Dodge says.

The firm has several corporate initiatives that support nonprofit organizations and encourage employees to give back to the community. “I love our Win4Youth program,” Dodge says. Win4Youth is a foundation run by Adecco that contributes $1 for every kilometer achieved by employees participating together in physical fitness activities. 

“This encourages teambuilding, fitness and philanthropy all in one,” Dodge says. “We conduct multiple events throughout the year and give hundreds of thousands of dollars to children’s charities through this program. We pay for about 60 colleagues to travel, train and compete in international races as ambassadors of this program.”

Employees also can volunteer as a team to help other local causes three to five times a year. “We invite our clients to join us in our volunteer efforts,” Dodge says. “We have helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity, prepared and delivered meals for FeedMore and spent time conducting classes for Junior Achievement. We do this just about every year. We also give one volunteer day to every employee to volunteer, individually, for the cause of their choice.” 

The company’s goal is “doing the right thing and doing right by its people,” Dodge says. “We are a great place to work because of all of our people, our shared values and the way we treat each other. We really do follow the Golden Rule in everything we do.”

Even though employees work hard, they “also have a lot of fun, and we enjoy what we do,” Dodge adds. “We can be a bunch of goofballs sometimes, and we get very creative in finding different ways to have fun and lighten things up when we’ve been working too hard.”

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