The Sum and Substance of a Recruiting Partnership

Published on November 5, 2018

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A regional CPA firm ranked in the Top 100 CPA firms in America, specializing in tax, auditing and accounting, and advisory services, needed an experienced recruiting partner to assist them with multiple positions throughout the Southwest. Previously they were using a contingency recruiter paying a percentage of the candidate’s salary and the costs were skyrocketing. Due to the volume of hires, they needed to find a cost-effective solution.

 A managing partner shared, “In our candidate-driven market,recruiters are incented to shop a candidate in hopes of securing a higher fee. We were not able to complete a thorough vetting of candidates and make a hiring decision before a competing CPA firm would hire the candidate.” The recruitment process brought frustration until they utilized Duffy Group’s Recruitment Research model - cold calling passive candidates from competitors, gathering marketplace intelligence, pitching the opportunity, marketing the firm, and building a talent pipeline for future hiring needs.

 The Phoenix-based Tax Partner was impressed with Duffy’s recruitment approach from the initial discovery call. He shared, “Typical recruiters often feel like spam email just sending random candidates to see what sticks.” Duffy Group’s recruitment research model was attractive as passive candidates were discovered through cold calling and a quality candidate pipeline was built. “The recruiters took the time to get to know our firm, culture, and personality to ensure a good candidate match.”

 As bottom-line driven professionals, the Duffy model allows CPA firms to recruit continuously with economics of scale top of mind.  The Audit Partner shared, “The hourly pricing model results in Duffy presenting one firm to a candidate rather than using multiple firms as leverage against each other. Depending on the needs of the office, there is typically a small downside financial risk with a large upside financial benefit.”        

 As a result of a successful partnership between the Phoenix CPA office and Duffy Group, it led them to expand the recruiting efforts to California. Within the last seven months, six of the 12 locations have used Duffy Group for their recruiting needs. An Audit Partner said, “Duffy recruiters have been able to mine and bring forward talented professionals to join our team. I appreciate their approach in listening to our needs and overall collaboration. I value the interview process of finding out exactly what we were looking for and who we are.”

 The CPA firm interviewed passive candidates that they would have never met and has continued to utilize Duffy to attract leading talent in the highly competitive Accounting and Finance industry.

 The recruiting industry is filled with a lot of noise and conflicting information, especially around recruiting fees and success statistics. These issues are exasperated because the market is flooded with big name firms. Employers seem to think they are limited to a recruiting model based on a candidate’s compensation. Duffy Group continues to disrupt the executive search industry and is one of the largest and most recognized recruitment research firms around the globe. 

 Duffy Group, Inc. is a premier recruiting firm known for delivering the highest quality services to our clients while ensuring value for their recruiting dollars. Acting as a virtual extension of your Human Resources team, we can assist you in identifying and hiring the right talent in order to achieve your business objectives. To learn more about this recruiting approach, contact Paul Madonia, VP Strategic Partnerships at and visit