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Positioning a national accounting firm to thrive in an ultra-competitive talent market.

Employer Branding for Freed Maxick

// BACKGROUND //

As a Top 100 CPA firm, Freed Maxick provides accounting, tax, and consulting services to companies throughout the U.S. Growth for the firm takes several forms, including geographic, industry, and service lines. Of course, it all hinges on having the right talent in place, which is why Freed identified recruitment and retention as a key strategic objective.

However, recruiting wasn’t just a Freed challenge – it was (and remains) an industry-wide issue. According to a Wall Street Journal article in 2022, more than 300,000 accountants and auditors left their jobs over a two-year span. Simultaneously, the number of CPA exam candidates dropped by nearly 7% from 2021 to 2022.

Ready to address the talent shortage and competitive market head-on, Freed Maxick collaborated with Riveter to revamp their recruitment approach and distinguish the firm in the eyes of potential employees.

// AUDIENCE //

Freed Maxick has three offices in Western New York but offers fully remote positions. Therefore, we targeted a national audience of entry-level and mid-career accounting professionals. It was also critical to Freed that the campaign resonated with its current team members to elevate company pride and retention rates.

// APPROACH //

Riveter partnered with Wayforward Associates, a strategic human resources firm, to develop a comprehensive employer branding initiative for Freed Maxick. The goal of the campaign was to shift Freed from traditional, episodic hiring tactics to an ongoing recruitment strategy, ensuring the firm always had interested, qualified candidates in the pipeline.

Research and EVP

Through a series of in-depth interviews, we isolated positive themes of the employee experience. The output of the research phase included articulating Freed Maxick’s employer value proposition (EVP) and key messages, which would serve as the campaign's foundation.

Campaign platform

Our research found that the firm’s employees appreciated the freedom they had in both their career pursuits and personal endeavors. Compared to other accounting firms, it was clear that Freed Maxick stood out with a combination of opportunity and autonomy.

Riveter brought this insight to life with the campaign platform “Free to Thrive.” By happenstance, the first four letters of the firm’s name spell “Free,” making the campaign even more relevant and memorable in the market.

Video production

Video played a pivotal role in the campaign. Riveter assisted Freed in selecting Employee Evangelists, team members who exhibited the key messages. Through interviews and documentary-style footage, the video provides an authentic look at what it’s like to work (and play) at Freed Maxick.

Careers landing page

Company careers pages are typically an afterthought, with little more than boilerplate copy and job postings. Not Freed’s.

With Free to Thrive front and center, the firm’s new Careers landing page highlights the EVP and key messages, showcases the Employee Evangelist video, and expands upon the benefits of working at Freed Maxick. Visitors are encouraged to learn about different career paths and sign up for Freed’s careers interest list, which builds the firm’s candidate database.

Social promotion

The social arm of the campaign included a comprehensive content strategy, promoting key messages and leveraging bite-sized campaign assets. We complemented the organic strategy with targeted paid posts on LinkedIn, driving potential candidates to the Freed careers page.

Lead nurturing

Once candidates join Freed’s careers interest list, they receive periodic emails to reinforce the EVP and keep the prospect warm until an appropriate role becomes available.

// RESULTS //

The continuous recruitment strategy has been a resounding success, with a monthly average of six interested candidates added to the pipeline.

Interested candidates are distributed across positions and experience levels, allowing each business unit to benefit from the pipeline.

In the first year of the employer branding initiative, Freed Maxick experienced substantial growth in its team:

19% increase
in CPAS

76% increase
in ACCOUNTANTS

This is just one example of how Riveter and Wayforward helped an organization become an employer of choice to combat recruitment obstacles. You can learn more about our holistic process at EmployerBranding.work or reach out to discuss your unique challenges and objectives at: