Inside Clarity’s Career Accelerator: Going Above and Beyond

Frank Wdowczyk, CPA, CGA

Often in a candidate pool, there exist many unqualified applicants. Of the tens to hundreds who apply to a job, only 5-10 are a suitable fit. It’s not that many of the others aren’t great candidates; they simply don’t possess the qualifications for that specific role…yet. Often, it’s because they haven’t fully developed the necessary skills, come from another geography without transferable work experience, or are re-entering the workforce after an extended absence. What can be done to help these soon-to-be great candidates?

At Clarity, one of our core values is “Help Others Realize Their Success.” Part of how we apply that is through our unique Career Accelerator service, which is designed simply as a way of giving back, no strings attached. The focus is not to find jobs for these candidates, but rather to help them get more control over their search through targeted guidance and coaching to get them several steps closer to landing that next great assignment.

We treat candidates the same way we treat clients. Through a positive experience, we know that someday our candidates may become our clients too.

Quick Facts

  • When did it launch? Early 2018
  • How many candidates have we helped? As of Feb 2019, 195 candidates
  • What does the service involve?
    • Coaching and Guidance on your Resume and LinkedIn Profile
    • Personal Branding
    • Job Search Strategies
    • Networking and Mentoring Opportunities
    • Referrals to Other Agencies and more
  • Who is service for? Designated Finance and Accounting professionals, mostly CPAs, currently residing in Canada who are struggling to find their next job

We had the opportunity to sit down with Frank Wdowczyk, CPA, CGA, who heads up our Career Accelerator to learn more about the service, how it helps, and what others can do to accelerate their own careers.  

Why do you do it?

Something that was stressed upon me on one of my first days in the recruiting world over 10 years ago was that, “you can’t help everyone.” Regardless of this advice I was still able to become a top recruiter while also being able to help candidates when possible. I’m excited that Clarity Recruitment is breaking new ground by carving out this dedicated role that isn’t necessarily focused on the bottom line but more on helping the individual. The reality is that this position is exciting because of what it can teach us about a new candidate pool. Clarity is truly standing behind its mission to “help others realize their success.”

How does the service differ from other coaching services out there?

Well for one, it’s a free service. It’s also focused vertically within the accounting and finance industry and run by industry experts with decades of experience in recruitment.

What advice do you commonly give?

A lot of the candidates I work with have limited networks and no prior Canadian work experience. I encourage them to use their recruiters but use their time to apply to jobs directly and network. In order to acquire that Canadian experience, you may need to be flexible and take a step back, maybe two. The ones who do well are the ones who say, “I don’t care about the compensation, just get the experience.” They take the gamble on themselves. A lot of the time you have to take that risk and make that sacrifice. It isn’t fair but it’s how it is.

A common resume and LinkedIn tweak is to place your designation right next to your name. Canada is very designation oriented. Also for those coming from outside of Canada, hiring managers may gloss over work experience where they don’t recognize the company. By providing a frame of who the company is (e.g. “They are the like the Walmart of India”) and including the company’s revenue size, you give the reader context of where you’ve been.

Lastly, I spend a lot of time on what they are doing in their search. People are spending too much time on job boards. Apply to the job you’re excited about and get over it – 97% of the time you aren’t going to hear back. Don’t waste your time. Look into LinkedIn for common threads. Look for people in HR and reach out to them directly by sending them a short note saying, “I’d like to connect with you and get 3-5 minutes of your time.” Take control of your search.

Can you share some recent stories from the Career Accelerator?

Out of the hundreds of conversations I’ve had in the last year, one of my favorites was with an MBA from India who recently moved to Canada. He was in a job that he referred to as his survival job. I coached him on where he should be putting his efforts and he eventually landed a job at Accenture. Six months later, I was connected with a candidate with a very similar background and introduced the two of them purely as a networking opportunity. He ended up recommending her to Accenture, and she joined shortly after.

Another candidate with no prior Canadian work experience landed a role through his persistent networking efforts. He recalls, “I could reminisce [Frank’s] words: I was just at the right place at the right time and one can not do that by sitting inside your home.” Prior to working with Frank, the candidate had approached over 1,200 people on LinkedIn. A mere 60 responded, and just 10 agreed to meet with him. Through the Career Accelerator, he was encouraged to expand his network by asking to meet with friends of friends and actively attend social and industry events. He was randomly introduced through a mutual contact at an event to his soon-to-be-boss.

Your Next Step

Are you a designated CPA who is in transition and struggling to find your next opportunity? We can help. Get in touch with us at accelerator@findingclarity.ca today.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.