The cherry on top
From Day 1, staffing firm builds team spirit
The camaraderie that makes Accounting Principals different is evident on an employee’s first day as they’re greeted by a desk decorated with bright, colorful signs trumpeting personalized welcoming messages.
This “cherry-on-top” culture is what makes Accounting Principals a great place to work, says Jennifer Dodge, managing director of the Jacksonville, Florida-based professional recruitment and staffing firm’s Glen Allen branch in Henrico County.
Accounting Principals takes cultural onboarding — welcoming employees into the corporate family and acquainting them with the firm’s personality — as seriously as its structured training.
“Everyone just kind of blends well,” Dodge says. “It’s not like little different groups of people. The tenured people always take the brand-new people under their wings and mentor them and just welcome them into the family right away.”
Accounting Principals has 75 offices nationwide. Along with its Ajilon and Parker+Lynch divisions, the company provides executive search, professional consulting and temporary staffing services. Its roughly 3,600 employees come from varied backgrounds, including human resources, sales, accounting and legal.
Long tenures tend to be atypical in the professional staffing industry, but Accounting Principals breaks the mold, with some employees serving the company for more than 20 years, Dodge says. To retain employees and keep them engaged, Accounting Principals’ managers make a point of getting to know them as people, not just workers.
To promote work/life balance, Accounting Principals offers flexible work hours and telecommuting to employees who require such options. Tenure and productivity are weighed into the decision-making to determine a win-win plan, Dodge says.
“We’re a company of standards, not rules,” Dodge says. “There are certain standards and certain metrics that define what getting the job done is. That’s constant and consistent no matter what scenario.”
In addition to accommodating life needs, Accounting Principals offers a 401(k) matching contribution and 18 paid days off during a worker’s first year of employment. Individuals are also given one paid day per year to volunteer for their cause of choice, and employees also spend a day outside of the office for group community service.
Each year, approximately 60 employees are chosen to participate in the company’s Win4Youth ambassador initiative, which encourages employees to participate in fitness activities to raise money for children’s charities. This year, employee Win4Youth ambassadors were professionally trained to participate in a triathlon in Canary Island Lanzarote, to raise money for Plan International, a worldwide organization that works to advance children’s rights.
In addition to Accounting Principals’ benefits and community service initiatives, its Glen Allen office houses a wellness room for employees to exercise on a NordicTrack Treadmill as well as a free onsite gym. Employees also enjoy walking around the on-campus lake.
The wellness room is the result of an employee suggestion.
“We have a lot of open communication on our team — we’re very collaborative,” Dodge says. “Everybody kind of pitches in. It’s definitely collaborative where we solicit ideas from the team all the time about what could make this a better place to work.” This collaborative nature extends past office walls and into the community.
The firm celebrates an esprit de corps built on working and volunteering within a fun corporate culture.
“The camaraderie — we’re constantly evolving,” Dodge says. “The things we did last year may have worked for us last year. But maybe the market changed or the industry changed and we need to tweak things a little bit. Sometimes your job changes in a way that isn’t what everyone would like.”