RSM set to employ 300 staff in Leeds as it aims to win 'war for talent' by reaching out to deprived areas

The audit, tax and consulting firm RSM aims to increase its staff numbers in Leeds to 300 people over the next year, as it sets out to win the “war for talent” by reaching out to disadvantaged parts of the city.

The audit, tax and consulting firm RSM aims to increase its staff numbers in Leeds to 300 people over the next year, as it sets out to win the “war for talent”.

Mike Thornton, RSM’s managing partner for the Leeds office, said the firm wanted to be dominant in the mid market and is taking on more than 600 trainees across the UK, including 43 in Yorkshire.

He said: “We want to keep growing in a managed way to continue to deliver a more personal touch for clients, rather than more of a transactional relationship that can come with scale.

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“We’ve got 260 staff in Leeds and around 20 partners. A year from now I would hope the team in Leeds would have around 300 people to match the trajectory of the business.”

Mike Thornton

Mr Thornton, who joined RSM in 2015, said clients were highlighting two issues of concern with regards to the economy.

He said: “They are facing issues around the supply chain due to the increased costs of shipping goods in and out of the country. They are missing out on sales in some cases. There are other issues linked to finding the right staff. These are not sector specific.

“Some companies cannot get enough people. In the care sector, for example, they would normally go to agencies to obtain staff, but even the agencies are struggling in some cases. I’ve heard of supermarkets offering a sign on bonus to attract staff.

In the hospitality sector, there are reports of huge labour shortages in hotels, said Mr Thornton.

“Manufacturing firms are going great guns but are facing frustrations in terms of infrastructure,’’ he added.

"Businesses have to take a risk and invest capital in their business. If they want to invest, they generally have to go it alone. Some manufacturers hope the Government could offer more targeted support for manufacturers."

Mr Thornton added: “In terms of RSM, we want to create an environment where everybody feels empowered so we can achieve the best outcome for our clients.

“The business dynamics for RSM are strong, in particular the corporate finance teams are really busy which is a good indication of strength in the wider regional economy. We also want to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

"There is a war for talent and we have been targeting schools in some of the more socially deprived areas to encourage pupils to take up careers at places like RSM."

Mike Thornton is RSM’s national head of manufacturing and is also managing partner for the Leeds office.

He joined RSM in 2015 following four years as finance director for a manufacturer of medical devices. Prior to this, he spent 14 years with a Big Four firm and developed expertise in corporate audit, private equity and quoted companies.

RSM is an audit, tax and consulting firm to the middle market with 3,650 partners and staff operating from 32 locations throughout the UK. RSM UK is a member firm of RSM International.