Champion Round-Up | By Ged Cosgrove, group managing partner
Amongst the many challenges businesses face due to today’s economic climate, skills and recruitment continue to be a theme across multiple sectors, including our own. Without the right talent, growth can be stifled, and the hunt for good people can be both an expense and a distraction for companies firefighting on other fronts.
At Champion, we’ve always been firm believers in the value of home-grown talent. Training young people straight from A-levels or equivalent is not just a solution to bringing new talent into our business and our sector now; it’s part of a long-term strategy for developing the leaders of tomorrow. It’s no coincidence that 70% of our directors and 80% of our management team trained at Champion, or at a Champion business before we acquired them – those statistics highlight that investing in people early in their careers pays dividends for a company’s talent pipeline, succession planning and growth potential.
Our long-established training programme is designed to help young recruits flourish personally and professionally, shaping aspiration into achievement by selecting people who are a good cultural fit for our organisation. We recruit college leavers for each of our offices every year and they work alongside experienced colleagues on live client work from week one. Our strategy is to motivate and inspire them with early responsibility, while supporting and training them with opportunities to shadow our senior team, along with a buddy system that pairs each individual with an older trainee or ex-trainee who can mentor them.
It’s a formula that has worked – for our business and our clients. Recently, we celebrated another set of training milestones. Our trainees have achieved outstanding exam results, with Spencer Youd, from our Chester office, successfully passing his final ACCA exam and becoming a Chartered Certified Accountant and Affiliate ACCA member. Meanwhile, Jack Cain and Aidan Oliver in Manchester, Daniel Percey and Luke Evans in Chester, and Max Kilshaw in Preston also passed their recent ACCA modules, putting them on course to becoming fully-fledged qualified accountants, and Hafiza Patel in Preston, plus Niamh Bonnett and Madison Wyles in Blackpool, have all recently passed AAT exams too.
The idea of training your own may seem like a costly and time-consuming process. But in today’s war on talent, can you really afford not to train the right people with the skills you need? Our experience testifies to the benefits of selecting people with the right aptitude and attitude to succeed – we look for people with the personal qualities you can’t teach, then train them with the skills you can teach.
The end result is an outstanding team that you can be proud of and you can rely on.