Understanding the recruitment and selection processes of management accountants

Lauri Lepistö (Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Pori, Finland)
Eeva-Mari Ihantola (Faculty of Management, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Publication date: 16 April 2018



This paper aims to focus on the recruitment and selection processes of management accountants to enhance the understanding of how employers form perceptions of a suitable management accountant.


The analysis is based on 17 interviews with individuals involved in the recruitment of management accountants. Empirical data were collected during the recruitment process at eight organisations.


The findings suggest that in the social context of recruitment, technical skills and abilities related to management accounting are increasingly perceived as “taken for granted”, and employers instead focus on evaluating candidates’ appearance and overall credibility. In particular, employers look for individuals who appear to be sociable, dynamic and appealing. Thus, a candidate’s overall appearance and personality are central to the recruitment process, both of which are assessed through characteristics and traits associated with personal charisma.

Practical implications

The findings have practical implications for both job seekers and recruiters of management accountants.


This study complements past studies on the role and image of management accountants by elucidating the social nature of their recruitment and selection.



Lepistö, L. and Ihantola, E. (2018), "Understanding the recruitment and selection processes of management accountants", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 104-123. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRAM-11-2016-0080

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