Friday, May 2, 2008

Inside the Head of the Headhunter – Geremy Cepin of PDI Global

Today we go inside the head of Geremy Cepin, Director of Executive Search & Placement for PDI Global, a Chicago area company specializing in leadership positions within all practice areas of public accounting and financial consulting firms nationally. Geremy has many years experience in search and staffing in finance, administration, and health care.

Geremy was kind enough to share his thoughts and experiences in the financial job market, expressing optimism in the current hiring environment and expectations that financial job markets will continue to be strong.

reCareered: Geremy thanks for taking the time to share your views with our audience. With all the talk of a recession, how busy are you these days?
Geremy Cepin: The job market is still really good, still very strong. There are still plenty of accounting firms who are still expanding beyond traditional accounting and tax, so they still need people. Due to the expansion of new practice areas, and desire for differentiation, firms are beefing up to separate from competition.

reCareered: Why all of a sudden are accounting firms recognizing these needs?
Geremy Cepin: It’s not so all of a sudden. As the Big 4 has moved upstream to concentrate on the largest corporate clients, there were mid sized clients who wanted greater attention to their needs. Increased Government regulation has placed a greater accounting, financial, and administrative burden on companies of all sizes, and caused greater demand for accounting and consulting services.

reCareered: In which areas of your practice do you see the greatest needs today?
Geremy Cepin: Tax, due to greater international expansion, increased government regulation, and international accounting changes. The demand for tax professionals has gotten so high that some firms are willing to train CPAs to be tax specialists. The priority is still to hire Subject Matter Experts in tax consulting and tax credits & incentives.

reCareered: Is this growth just in the large national firms?
Geremy Cepin: No, most of this growth in demand is for regional and large local firms, which now offer services that only the Big 4 used to offer. Regional and large local firms have attracted Partner level staff from the Big 4, who look to make more of an impact and have a better quality of life at regional & local firms. Then those partners look to make an impact in their new firms by building practices around their specialties, and need managers & staff experienced in those areas.

reCareered: Where do you see weaknesses in the job market?
Geremy Cepin: Consulting has gotten weaker. Bearing point is starting to decrease, PWC laid off a hundred in New York after they changed their business model – rumor is they may sell off some business lines.

reCareered: Why the softness in consulting?
Geremy Cepin: As companies continue to internalize SOX into their process cycles, the SOX related demands to professional firms have slowed. Most of the management items identified over the past 5-6 years of SOX audits have been completed by companies or their consultants.

reCareered: How do you recommend that job changers utilize online social networking?
Geremy Cepin: Candidates are going on LinkedIN all the time, even people in their 40’s and 50’s, and finding tons of LinkedIN friends and old co-workers. The same with Facebook, just not so much in the Accounting industry.

reCareered: What is the top mistake you see job changers make?
Geremy Cepin: I see some job changers with unrealistic salary expectations due to the differences between national and regional firm salary levels. And some just don’t quite realize the tradeoffs between national and regional firms. If your hourly billing requirements decline in a regional firm (tradeoff for quality of life), you’ve got to be ready to make an economic change in your lifestyle.

reCareered: Can you suggest any changes in approach to job seekers?
Geremy Cepin: Be open to “out of the box” opportunities. Be willing to listen, and remain open minded. The industry is changing and there are some exciting, though untraditional opportunities available.

Geremy, thanks for your insight today. If CPAs consultants and financial professionals are looking for a solid recruiter, email your resume to Geremy Cepin at

About Geremy Cepin: As Director of Executive Search & Placement for PDI Global, Geremy specializes in conducting targeted Partner and Practice Leader searches for accounting and consulting firms. Geremy is thought of as a trusted advisor to both client and candidate, producing “win-win” marriages of skill set, strategic vision, and long-term career and personal goals. In addition, Geremy often represents opportunistic audit, tax, advisory services, and consulting professionals who wish to engage in a confidential search for a more challenging and rewarding role.

About reCareered: If you’d like more information, a free 30 minute resume consultation, or some advice about your career transition, just email your resume to reCareered at, and we'll schedule a time to talk.

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