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Recruiters Successfully Tapping Older Accountants to Fill Talent Shortage

Where do star accountants from large firms go when they retire? To smaller accounting firms, recruiters hope. So reports Bloomberg.

For Christopher Petermann, partner at New York-based PKF O'Connor Davies, partners from the biggest accounting and advisory companies who usually are expected to step down by their early 60s have become a prized find for his firm.

"We don't have mandatory retirement, and the older people we're hiring are vibrant, with expertise in areas that can help us grow--plus they're helping the younger employees," says Petermann, co-director of his firm's foundation practice.

With low unemployment and competition for talent tight, it has become tougher for firms to find talent in the industry. Many professionals in their 60s are forced to retire due to old retirement policies enacted when life expectancies were shorter and to help usher in young replacements. But that does not mean these long-time professionals are ready to quit and many are willing to work part-time or at a reduced salary.

"These older partners that large firms are ushering out the door are a talent gift to smaller companies," says Ruth Finkelstein, executive director of the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging at Hunter College. "They don't need to be trained. They have experience and contacts that can bring in new business and important knowledge to pass to younger employees."

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